Private International Law or International Private Law governs the choice of law to apply when there are conflicts in the domestic law of different countries related to private transactions. This means that there is a dispute or transaction that involves one of the following: what jurisdiction applies - choice of court, forum selection, renvoi (transfer of proceedings), choice of applicable law, and recognition or enforcement of a foreign judgment.

National laws are the primary sources of Private International Law. The scope of Private International Law varies from country to country and each jurisdiction has its own rules. In the United States, Canada, and Great Britain the term conflict of laws is more popular. Private International Law deals with a variety of topics, such as (international) contracts, torts (lex loci delicti), family matters, recognition of judgments, child adoption and abduction, real property (lex rei sitae), intellectual property. In addition to the rules by made national authorities, treaties, model laws and other instruments have been brought in by international organizations to regulate the area of transnational disputes: the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT) and the Hague Conference on Private International Law. The Hague Conference has seen impressive growth of both its membership and the range of States Parties to its Conventions.

Globalisation has encouraged the proliferation of private international law-making at national, regional and global levels. It has given a huge boost to private international law activities of legislators as well as judges around the world. At the regional level, in the Americas, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and Mercosur have adopted a wide range of private international law instruments, while in Europe, the European Union has acquired powers to legislate in the field of private international law.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Private International Law. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library's subject heading (keyword) Private International Law are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.


Sources of private international law


Collections and compilations of treaties and other documents of private international law


Reference works

We have selected these reference works and books for you based on relevance, author and imprint. Of course there are many more and it is almost impossible to show them all here. More reference works, classified by country, can be found in the following overview page: Private International Law References by Country

Selected books and articles

For all peer-reviewed articles in the PPL Catalogue, click here.

Periodicals, serial publications