Private International Law


Private International Law - Research Guide International Law

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
  • recognition or enforcement of a foreign judgment

In the United States, Canada, and Great Britain it is also known as conflict of laws.

National laws are the primary sources of Private International Law. Private International Law is also embodied in treaties and conventions, model laws, legal guides, and other instruments that regulate transactions. 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.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research in the field of Private International Law in General. 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 systematic classification → Private international law and 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.


Reference works


Leading articles


Periodicals, serial publications


Systematic classification → Private international law

In General

Law of Persons, Family Law and Related Matters

Commercial Law, incl. Contracts and Corporations


Law of Procedure

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  • Muir Watt, H., Bíziková, L., Brandão de Oliveira, A. and Fernández Arroyo, D.P. (eds.), Global Private International Law Adjudication without Frontiers, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019.

    Muir Watt, H., Bíziková, L., Brandão de Oliveira, A. and Fernández Arroyo, D.P. (eds.), Global Private International Law Adjudication without Frontiers, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019.

    Global Private International Law is a groundbreaking casebook, combining the expertise of over sixty international and interdisciplinary contributors who analyze key legal proceedings in order to provide a comprehensive study of the impact of globalisation on the law. Providing a unique and clearly structured tool, this book presents an authoritative collection of carefully selected global case studies. Some of these are considered global due to their internationally relevant subject matter, whilst others demonstrate the blurring of traditional legal categories in an age of accelerated cross-border movement.

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  • Monéger, F., Droit International Privé, Paris, LexisNexis, 2018..

    moneger - droit international prive

    Cet ouvrage a pour objectif d'exposer aussi simplement que possible le droit international privé, matière réputée difficile. Il présente les trois objets du droit international privé enseignés en L3 et en M1 dans les facultés de droit : les conflits de lois, les conflits de juridictions, la nationalité et la condition des étrangers. La première partie est consacrée aux principes généraux des conflits de lois et de juridictions ; la deuxième expose l'application de ces principes aux différentes matières du droit privé ; la troisième aborde la nationalité et la condition des étrangers.
    L'exposé du droit positif, et spécialement en ce domaine de la jurisprudence, a été privilégié. Cette huitième édition intègre l'évolution de la jurisprudence jusqu'au 31 janvier 2018, en particulier la jurisprudence sur les Règlements européens Bruxelles I et Bruxelles Il bis. Elle présente également tous les Règlements européens entrés en vigueur : les Règlements Rome I sur la loi applicable aux obligations contractuelles, Rome II sur la loi applicable aux obligations extracontractuelles, Rome Ill sur la loi applicable en matière de divorce, le Règlement obligations alimentaires, le Règlement relatif aux successions internationales, et les Règlements régimes matrimoniaux et partenariats enregistrés qui seront applicables en 2019.
    Cette édition évoque également le nouveau divorce sans juge entré dans le Code civil avec la loi du 18 novembre 2016 et qui pose beaucoup de difficultés en droit international privé.

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  • Banu, R., Nineteenth Century Perspectives on Private International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018.

    Banu, R., Nineteenth Century Perspectives on Private International Law, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018.

    Private International Law is often criticized for failing to curb private power in the transnational realm. The field appears disinterested or powerless in addressing global economic and social inequality. Scholars have frequently blamed this failure on the separation between private and public international law at the end of the nineteenth century and on private international law's increasing alignment with private law. Through a contextual historical analysis, Roxana Banu questions these premises. By reviewing a broad range of scholarship from six jurisdictions (the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands) she shows that far from injecting an impetus for social justice, the alignment between private and public international law introduced much of private international law's formalism and neutrality. She also uncovers various nineteenth century private law theories that portrayed a social, relationally constituted image of the transnational agent, thus contesting both individualistic and state-centric premises for regulating cross-border inter-personal relations.

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  • Mills, A., Party Autonomy in Private International Law, University College London, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2018.

    Mills, A., Party Autonomy in Private International Law, University College London, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University Press, 2018.

    This book provides an unprecedented analysis and appraisal of party autonomy in private international law – the power of private parties to enter into agreements as to the forum in which their disputes will be resolved or the law which governs their legal relationships. Such agreements have become an increasingly important part of cross-border legal relations, but many aspects of party autonomy remain controversial and contested. This book includes a detailed exploration of the historical origins of party autonomy as well as its various theoretical justifications. It also provides an in-depth comparative study of the rules governing party autonomy in the European Union, the United States, common law systems, and in international codifications, with particular consideration of some other important jurisdictions including China and Brazil.

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  • Ramos, A. de Carvalho, Curso de direito internacional privado, São Paulo, Saraiva, 2018.

    Ramos, A. de Carvalho, Curso de direito internacional privado, São Paulo, Saraiva, 2018.

    O Curso é pautado pela abrangência, abarcando, em volume único, os principais aspectos da “Parte Geral do Direito Internacional Privado” e também os temas da “Parte Especial” (regras de conexão temáticas – estado pessoal, casamento, bens, obrigações, sucessões), bem como detalhando os dois outros segmentos da disciplina, isto é, o estudo da jurisdição internacional e da cooperação jurídica internacional em matéria cível (parte geral, homologação de sentença estrangeira, assistência jurídica internacional e produção de prova no exterior).

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  • The Ladies of The Hague Academy – Summer 2018

    The Peace Palace will welcome around 700 students from all over the world during this year’s summer session of The Hague Academy of International Law. For many students, it will be their first time in The Hague and finding your way around the city can be quite a challenge. Fortunately, there will be six lovely ladies to give a helping hand when you need one. Find out who they are and what they have to say.

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  • The Hague Academy Summer Courses 2018

    We welcome all students of the The Hague Academy of International Law’s summer courses, first period 9 July – 27 July (Public International Law) and second period 30 July -17 August (Private International Law). The coming six weeks, the library will serve as the Academy’s ‘home library’, providing the students with access to all books, articles, essays and documentation on international law available in either paper or electronic format.

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  • Polishing the Golden Rule of International Copyright Protection

    This week’s fascinating guest blog concerns the national treatment principle that deals with the issue of non-discrimination in international intellectual property law. The blog provides a brief overview of the development of this eminent principle in international conventions protecting copyright. Dr. Danny Friedmann combines intellectual rigor with clever anecdotes in this blog. Find out why Charles Dickens complained about the unfairness of the massive piracy of his books in the United States and how a former copyright pirate like Belgium could transform itself to a copyright advocate.

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  • Perspectives on Mass Violence: Peace and Conflict Studies and Genocide Studies Compared

    This week’s compelling guest blog compares the fields of Conflict Studies with Genocide Studies, its intriguing differences and similarities and the general lack of cross-pollination between them, even though they both deal with questions of collective violence and individual participation in violence. The author, Kjell Anderson, is a jurist and social scientist and works in both fields of Conflict Studies and Genocide studies.

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  • The Hague Abduction Convention: Nice in Theory, Difficult in Implementation

    The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return. To implement these objectives, the Convention creates a system of close co-operation among the judicial and administrative authorities of the Contracting States and requests Contracting States to use the most expeditious procedures available under their own laws for Convention proceedings. A recent decision of the Japanese Supreme Court shows the conflict between the desire to protect factual situations altered by the wrongful removal or retention of a child, and that of guaranteeing respect for the legal relationships which may underlie such situations.

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  • Interview Professor Yves Daudet

    Professor Daudet officially retired as Secretary-General of The Hague Academy of International Law. A special farewell ceremony and reception were held in his honor during which the new Secretary- General, Professor Jean- Marc Thouvenin was formally introduced. Mr Daudet graciously agreed to be interviewed. Find out more how he looks back on his time at the Academy, his many highlights and accomplishments and how he will continue to stay involved in the future of the Academy.

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  • The Harmonization of European Family Law: Work in Progress

    With the aim of offering citizens in the European Union legal certainty in cross border family law situations the EU has increasingly come to define key aspects of jurisdiction, applicable law and recognition and enforcement of judgments on divorce, maintenance, and disputes over children, including international child abduction, and provided new frameworks for cross-national cooperation. This blog gives an overview of the main EU regulations in the field of international family law.

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  • Towards a Toolbox for Nationality Legislation

    From 13 to 14 October Prof. Dr. Gerard–René de Groot will host his farewell seminar on the ”Future of nationality law” at Maastricht University. In this seminar specialists in the field of nationality law will discuss how academia and civil society can best collaborate in the fight to eradicate statelessness. With whole populations adrift, nationality and citizenship today are critically important to gain admittance in a state. Nationality is in fact commonly regarded as an inalienable right of every human being. Thus, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.”

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  • The Hague Academy of International Law: Celebrating 90 Years of Academic Excellence

    On July 24, 1923, ten years after the opening of the Peace Palace, the Hague Academy of International Law was solemnly inaugurated in the Peace Palace ‘to teach subjects which are most important from the point of view of theory, practice, legislation and international jurisprudence, in particular from deliberations of conferences and arbitral awards’ (Art. 3 of its statute adopted in 1914).

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  • Shell and Ogoni People : (s)oil pollution in the Niger Delta

    On January 30, 2013, the court (Rechtbank) in the Hague, The Netherlands, ruled that Royal Dutch Shell can be held partially responsible for pollution in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region and ordered it to pay damages to one farmer. The Dutch court dismissed four out of five allegations of the Ogoni people against the oil company. Although Shell blames the oil pollution to sabotage, activists say the case could set a precedent for damage claims related to the foreign activities of multinational companies.

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  • Immunities in Public and Private International Law - 9th Session of the Seminar for Advanced Studies, 13-19 January 2013

    Each year the Hague Academy of International law, one of the most renowned academic institutions in Europe, holds a seminar devoted to various aspects of public and private international law. The theme of this year’s seminar will be: ”Les immunités en droit international public et privé” (Immunities in public and private international law). This Programme of Advanced Studies will take place from 13 to 19 January 2013 at the Academy building in The Hague.

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  • Inspiration and innovation in international law and politics, 100 years Nobel peace prize Tobias Asser

    The conference in honor of the late Tobias Asser, a hundred years after receiving the Nobel peace prize, featured a day long program with various speakers, presentations and panel discussions. The following is a selection of the opinions delivered by some of the most prominent speakers on the subjects of public international law and private international law. For a more detailed account of the life and legacy of Tobias Asser, please see ‘The learned guide of our nation …’.

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  • The Special Commission on the implementation of the 2007 Child Support Convention and of the Protocol on Applicable Law

    From 10 to 17 November a Special Commission of the Conference on Private International Law (hereafter HCCH) on the implementation of the 2007 Child Support Convention and of the Protocol on Applicable Law will meet at the Peace Palace in The Hague. The Special Commission of the HCCH will discuss the implementation of the 2007 Child Support Convention and of the Protocol on Applicable Law. The new Convention aims to resolve the problems of unpaid or uncollectible child support and the problems of costly, complicated, slow and under-utilized international procedures. It will provide for a simplified procedure to recover child support internationally.

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  • Cultural Diversity

    On Monday the 17th of August 2009 the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and International Relations of the Hague Academy of International Law started. The Centre takes place annually at the Academy and Library building of the Peace Palace. The purpose of the Centre is to bring together advanced young scholars of […]

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  • Shell Settles Nigerian Claims of Human Rights Violations

    On Monday, 8 June Royal Dutch Shell, Europe’s largest oil producer, reached a 15.5 million dollar settlement in a lawsuit brought against it by the families of the nine Nigerian activists who were killed in 1995. The lawsuit, which was brought to a New York court under the US Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), accused Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary of complicity in the hanging and the killings or persecution of the environmental activists.

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