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What Are Conflict of Laws?

There are instances when a court case may involve the application of more than 1 law, and the application of each law yields a different resolution or punishment. Thus, such an instance is referred to as a conflict of laws. A conflict of laws usually occurs when a legal proceeding can be of several jurisdictions, ergo it becomes a conflict of what jurisdiction will apply to the proceeding. Attorneys in civil law can refer to this conflict of laws as private international law since private international laws can be in conflict with one another.

When a conflict of law occurs, it is the court that decides which law to apply to the case. A set or rules, also referred to as a conflict of laws, settles the matter by providing procedural laws as to how to determine which legal system and under what jurisdiction to use. A federal court will hear the case but try it under the law to which it has been deemed to be applicable to.

When a legal system has no appropriate set of conflict of laws, it can decide ad hoc, meaning that the decision may be improvised or impromptu given the circumstances of the case. However, there are steps in order to address conflict of laws. Before anything is done, the court must first determine under which jurisdiction the case is. The case is then evaluated in terms of its cause of action after which the court determines what laws are applicable. Once a conflict of laws is applied, the applicable law must be proven to work in the forum court before the case is resolved.

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