Conflict of laws

One of the most striking comment made towards understanding conflict of laws is that one given by a former Justice in the Supreme Court of Arkansas which substantially mentioned that the occurrence of facts that involves between two or more states, such case is considered conflict of laws since there should be a determination done as to what law should govern. Conflict of laws is defined as a department of national law which arises from the fact that there are in the world different territorial jurisdiction possessing different laws.

It is also a part of the municipal law of a state which directs its courts and administrative agencies, when confronted with a legal problem involving a foreign element, whether or not they should apply a foreign law or laws. This subject is composed of different topics which include domicile, jurisdiction, and choice of law, choice of law in specific substantive areas, traditional defenses against application of foreign law, constitutional limitations and overriding federal law as well as recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

Conflict of laws is observed among countries because states must of necessity observe the subject for it is part of their municipal law. In that case, a state is bound to enforce its own municipal law that greatly recognizes international law or other laws involving conflict of law. Individual countries also observe conflict of laws because there is fear of municipal sanctions. With that, no matter how supreme a state is, there is still a necessity to observe conflict of laws. For a clearer view, we need to be enlightened by the basic terms and rules being studied under conflict of laws.

Essentially, the domiciliary theory in conflict of laws is the theory that in general the status, condition, rights, obligations, and capacity of a person should be governed by the law of his domicile. Domicile speaks of one’s permanent place of abode or home. There are three kinds of domicile and these are the domicile of origin, the constructive domicile, and the domicile of choice. There are many things to consider with respect to these matters. First, the domicile of origin is acquired at birth and that constructive domicile is given after birth.

Second, domicile of origin applies only to infants while constructive domicile refers to all those who lack capacity to choose their own domicile; infants, married women, idiots or the insane. Legal disabilities prevent their making a choice. Third, domicile of origin never changes; for a person is born only once, whereas constructive domicile may change from time to time, depending upon circumstances which will be subsequently discussed. And last, while both the domicile of origin and the constructive domicile are fixed by law, domicile of choice is a result of the voluntary will and action of the person concerned.

Moreover, the meaning of jurisdiction is the authority of a tribunal to hear and decide a case. Complete jurisdiction necessarily includes not only the power to hear and determine a case, but also the power to enforce any judgment it may render thereon. Every person, depending upon the law that governs a particular case has the right to be given notice of a case wherein that person is involved. Opportunity to be heard is also a common rule for parties in cases that involve conflict of laws.

Minimum contact is asking for a requirement that needs to be completed before a defendant can be made to answer for a case filed against him. The defendant must have a connection with a certain state or government. In addition, there are three (3) kinds of jurisdiction and these are jurisdiction over the subject matter, jurisdiction over the person, and jurisdiction over the res. Jurisdiction over subject matter is conferred by law and is defined as the authority of a court to hear and decide cases of the general class to which the proceedings in question belong.

In jurisdiction over the person, it means as a power of a court of justice to render a judgment that will be binding on the parties involved which are the plaintiff and the defendant. Jurisdiction over the plaintiff is acquired from the time he files a case by the proper pleading. Lastly, jurisdiction over the res or a thing meant a jurisdiction over the particular subject matter in controversy, regardless of the persons who may be interested thereon. The aforementioned jurisdiction may be enforced by coercive seizure of the property by attachment proceedings.