Summer Session 2017-18 lec > subject pages > conflict of laws

Conflict of laws (private international law) is the part of Australian law concerned with questions of a private law nature (tort, contract, property and so on) which contain a foreign element. A legal question will contain a foreign element where a fact or party has a relevant connection with a foreign legal system (a foreign country in the conflict of laws sense). For example, conflict of laws issues will arise if proceedings are contemplated in New South Wales in respect of a tort committed in Singapore or against a defendant resident in Hong Kong or to recover damages for breach of a contract governed by the law of California.

This subject is an introduction to conflict of laws, with particular reference to legal questions connected with countries outside Australia.  Although reference is made to issues of federal or intranational conflict of laws (conflict of laws issues arising between the states and territories of Australia), detailed knowledge of this material, such as the scope and operation of the Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 (Com), choice of law in federal jurisdiction, the full faith and credit clause (s 118) of the Commonwealth Constitution and the cross-vesting scheme, is not required for assessment purposes.

The objective of the teaching program in this subject is to develop your understanding of the transnational dimension of private law and your appreciation of the fact that many legal questions which arise in everyday life are not confined within one legal system. The teaching program, which is conducted by the Law Extension Committee of The University of Sydney, seeks to assist your preparation for the examination in Conflict of Laws which is conducted by the Legal Profession Admission Board.



Lecture and weekend school timetables, prescribed materials, and assignment information are in the Subject Guide. Assignments and Supplementary Materials (where applicable) can be accessed by current students from the Webcampus.








Law Extension Committee
The University of Sydney
Ph: (02) 8089 1950
Fax: (02) 8089 1959

This page last updated on 18 September 2017


Please direct any website related queries to: