Determining the Proper Law of Contract Under Private International Law

ABSTRACT

Where a dispute arises from the breach of a term or terms of a contract between ‘A’ a Nigerian, and ‘B’ an Italian, the court that entertains the action will employ an objective test in order to determine the law to govern the resolution of this dispute. Before arriving at this law, the court considers the intention of the parties regarding their choice of law.

The parties’ intention could be expressed where they provide that “Nigerian law shall govern the construction of this contract”, or their intention could be implied where, from the terms of the contract, the court could hold that the parties’ intention is that Italian law should govern the contract. Where their intention is neither expressed nor to be inferred from the terms of the contract, the court could hold that the system of law with which the transaction has its closest and most real connection shall be the proper law of the contract, and this is arrived at by looking at the surrounding circumstances of the case.

The above explanation is what “Determining the Proper Law of Contract under Private International Law” is all about. It is that proper law so determined that is applied in all issues or matters arising from international contract disputes brought before the court for resolution.

References

1. A.S. Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of Current English, 6th Edn., (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000)

2. A. J. Mayss, Conflict of Laws, (Cavendish Publishing Ltd., the Glass House, Wharton Street, London, 1994).

3. A. Yakubu, International Contracts, (Malthouse Press Ltd., Lagos, 1999).

4. A. Nussbaum, “Conflict Theories of Contract, Cases versus Restatement”, (1942), The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 6.

5. B.A. Garner, Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th Edn., (St. Paul Minn. West Publishing Co., U.S.A., 2004).

6. Cheshire & North, Private International Law, 9th Edn., (Butterworth, London, 1974).

7. A.V. Dicey and J.H.C. Morris, Conflict of Laws, (Stevens & Sons Ltd., London, 1973).

8 E.I. Sykes, Cases and Materials on Private International Law, 2nd Edn., (Sweet & Maxwell Ltd., London, 1969).

9. E. G. Lorenzen, “Validity and Effect of Contracts” (1942), The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 6.

10. H. Campbell Black, Black’s Law Dictionary, 6th Edn., (St. Paul Minn. West Publishing Co., 1990).

11. J.H.C. Morris, Cases and Materials on Private International Law, 4th Edn., (At the Clarendon Press Oxford, 1968).

12. J.H.C. Morris, The Conflict of Laws, (Stevens & Sons Ltd., London, 1984).

13. Lord Chorley & O.C. Giles, Slaters Merchantile Law, (Pitman Publishing Ltd., London, 1977).

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