Saturday, November 21, 2009

O'Hara & Ribstein on Conflict of Laws and Choice of Law

Professor Erin A. O'Hara (Vanderbilt University School of Law; Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research) and Professor Larry E. Ribstein (University of Illinois College of Law) have posted "Conflict of Law and Choice of Law" on SSRN as part of the Working Paper Series.

The abstract states:

In this revised entry for a new edition of Elgar’s Encyclopedia of Law and Economics we discuss the law and economics of conflict of laws and choice of law, focusing on the law in the US. We first consider choice of law when the parties have not effectively chosen their governing law by contract. We address four questions: (1) Why do courts ever apply anything other than the law of the forum? (2) If a court sometimes applies foreign law, is a rule-based or more modern standard-based approach to its choice preferable? (3) Why have so many states abandoned rule-based approaches in favor of standard-based ones? and (4) Is there any real practical difference between the First Restatement and modern approaches? We then discuss costs and benefits of enforcing parties’ contractual choice of law provisions. We conclude that permitting parties to choose the governing law that best fits their transactions and future private disputes can enhance jurisdictional competition and help restore predictability to the conflict of laws problem. When states nevertheless wish to insist on the application of their own governing law, they should state that explicitly in statutes.


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