Meaning of LAWS, CONFLICT OF in English

LAWS, CONFLICT OF

the existence worldwide of a multiplicity of different sets of courts and different sets of private law (i.e., the law governing relations between private individuals or between an individual and the state considered as an individual without special position or privilege). The law of the conflict of lawsalso called private international lawhas to do with the resolution of the problems resulting from such diversity of courts and law. Conflict of laws refers to an area of law concerned with the principles by which the governing laws of different states, provinces, and nations are to be applied, recognized, or enforced by others. When a country encompasses a number of smaller powers (states or provinces, for example), each of which is governed by a set of laws in addition to those applicable to the country as a whole, this situation is referred to as a diversity of laws. This can also arise when a country is newly formed, divided, or brought into the dominion of another country; and it often exists between a national power and its colonies. Even within a nation there may be a diversity of laws among different religious or ethnic groups, as the Muslims, Jews, and Christians who are governed by separate legal codes in Lebanon and in Israel. The rules of conflict of laws are designed to determine which set of laws is applicable to a given case, which judicial system is most appropriate for trial of the case (jurisdiction), and the extent to which foreign powers will honour or enforce the outcome of the trial. Despite 19th-century attempts to establish a consistent international code for the determination of these questions, in current practice every nation establishes its own set of laws and determines its relations with the laws of other states, often through treaties and other forms of mutual agreement. Each power also defines the extent of its jurisdiction, generally limiting the cases accepted for trial to (1) those cases whose proceedings do not severely inconvenience the court schedule or require drastic relocation of one or both parties in the dispute and (2) those cases whose results are enforceable within national boundaries. In some countries that consist of a number of states or provinces, jurisdiction among the states is determined by a uniform national law, as in Germany, while in other countries such as the United States and the British domain, each state is empowered to define the range of its own jurisdiction within certain limits; in the United States, states authority is limited by the Constitution. In common practice, countries generally extend jurisdiction to all cases in which both parties accept it. Under the continental European civil-law system, suit is usually brought against a defendant in the locality where he resides, while in the Anglo-American common-law system the trial may proceed in any area in which notice of trial can be personally served on the defendant. Both systems allow their courts to govern questions of land within their jurisdiction, regardless of where the owner resides. Generally, each country determines for itself the extent to which it will enforce or recognize decisions rendered by a foreign power, unless the two countries follow a practice established by mutual agreement. Policies vary widely among different countries concerning the acceptance of in rem judgments, the enforcements of penalties, and the application of res judicata, which prevents a case from being brought to trial a second time on the same grounds. When a foreign decision is accepted, it is generally converted into a form consistent with the practice of the accepting power, through a special procedure called exequatur that establishes the validity of the original trial but does not require a reopening of the case; in some Scandinavian countries, however, court proceedings must be newly initiated. Decisions not to accept a foreign judgment may be the result of a lack of jurisdiction in the first court, improper conduct of the trial, or severe disruption or inconvenience for the accepting power. In the United States, each state is bound by the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution to recognize and enforce judgments rendered by the court of any other state acting within its proper jurisdiction. In order to try parties under the law where the action was taken, states and countries may occasionally elect to conduct a trial according to the laws of the foreign power rather than that of their own. Though efforts have been made to simplify the principles governing this practice, known as choice of law provisions, they remain complex and highly diversified among different nations. Generally, the determination of a person's legal status is conducted on the basis of his nationality, which is considered by common-law countries to be his country of residence. Disputes over the ownership of land are settled according to the laws of the locality where the land is situated, and wills are commonly validated in compliance with the laws of the area where they are signed. Contract disputes between businesses are also usually conducted under the laws of the state of execution or according to the laws by which both parties explicitly agree to be bound as a provision of the contract. the existence worldwide of a multiplicity of different sets of courts and different sets of privat law (i.e., the law governing relations between private individuals or between an individual and the state considered as an individual without special position or privilege). The law of the conflict of lawsalso called private international lawhas to do with the resolution of the problems resulting from such diversity of courts and law. Both civil and criminal procedure may have a variety of international aspects: the plaintiff and defendant may be foreign citizens or may reside outside the country of the court (called the forum state); evidence may have to be taken in a foreign country; or, finally, a decision rendered in one country may have to be enforced in another. Growing international activities, primarily for business purposes but also of a private nature, have decisively increased the practical relevance of these international aspects of procedural law. Legal problems arising from the international aspects of civil and criminal proceedings are a result of the multiplicity of different sets of courts and different systems of law in the world. Each nation maintains its own set of courts in complete independence of every other nation, and each nation has its own set of laws, written or unwritten. The rules and provisions that deal with the international aspects of various national legal systems are called the law of conflict of laws. Additional reading Private international law Literature on individual national systems of law is too numerous to be cited. Broad comparative treatments are offered by Istvn Szszy, International Civil Procedure: A Comparative Study, trans. from Hungarian (1967); and Ernst Rabel, The Conflict of Laws: A Comparative Study, 2nd ed., 3 vol. (195864), the only scholarly analysis of the conflict of law on a worldwide scale. International criminal law M. Cherif Bassiouni, International Criminal Law, 3 vol. (198687); Stefan Glaser, Introduction l'tude du droit international pnal (1954), with a supplemental volume (1959), and Droit international pnal conventionnel, 2 vol. (197078); F. Meili, Lehrbuch des internationalen Strafrechts und Strafprozessrechts (1910), the first classic; Gerhard O.w. Mueller and Edward M. Wise (eds.), International Criminal Law (1965), especially ch. 1 and 4; Dietrich Oehler, Internationales Strafrecht, 2nd rev. and enl. ed. (1983); Antonio Quintano Ripolls, Tratado de derecho penal internacional y internacional penal, 2 vol. (195557); and Edward S. Stimson, Conflict of Criminal Laws (1936). Ulrich M. Drobnig

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