Conflict of laws, or private international law as it is sometimes called, takes on greater importance with each passing year. Globalization is eroding borders in commercial transactions and family relationships, yet much law remains highly territorial. Professors Pitel and Rafferty have written a highly readable and thoughtful treatise that explains and analyzes the rules of the conflict of laws in force in common law Canada in a clear and concise manner. Understanding the conflict of laws allows lawyers, judges, scholars, and students to better address any legal situation that crosses borders, whether international or interprovincial.
"It is a rare pleasure to have the opportunity to review a new Canadian text on the conflict of laws. Written by two well-known specialists in the field, Professors Stephen G.A. Pitel and Nicholas Rafferty of the Faculties of Law of the University of Western Ontario and the University of Calgary respectively, Conflict of Laws is a welcome to addition to the literature and to the Irwin Essentials series. It fills an important need for a clear and concise discussion on the subject that is highly readable and thoughtful, and it admirably fulfils the mandate of the Irwin Essentials series to "offer serious but succinct treatments of the subjects that make up today's legal environment. . . . From the outset, Professors Pitel and Rafferty make their mark on the subject with a structure for the work of their own devising. Having identified the "three central questions" (jurisdiction, applicable law, judgments), they go on to note that three particular topics (domicile/residence, exclusion of foreign law, foreign currency obligations) "are relevant, in differing ways, to each question" and so should be treated first. Later on, in moving directly from the question of jurisdiction to that of judgments, they observe that since these topics "have more in common with each other than either does with the second central question, choice of law[,]. . . it makes sense to examine these topics in order. . . . All in all, they strike a good balance between traditional and topical concerns, between a comprehensive narrative and a focus on issues of particular significance, and between current developments in Canada and abroad; and they do so with considerable fluidity. The authors are to be congratulated for making what has often thought to be a difficult subject seem easy. And for a subject that they rightly note "takes on greater importance with each passing year," this is an especially welcome achievement."
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