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1 Introduction

Adrian Briggs

From: Private International Law in English Courts 2e (2nd Edition)

Prof Adrian Briggs

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 13 April 2024

Subject(s):
Jurisdictional agreements and the common law — Choice of law — EU Rules — Jurisdiction and the English courts — Jurisdiction

This chapter introduces the foundational principles of English private international law which provide the intellectual basis for the law described in greater detail in the rest of the book. It shows how the common law has always had a fundamental respect for the principles of territoriality, sovereignty, and comity, while evolving rules of the conflict of laws which also, and increasingly, respect the intentions of those exercising their autonomy. It identifies the influence of pragmatism, and of the power of equity to operate in personam, on the development of private international law. It introduces the particular problems which may be encountered when rules of statute law, ambiguous or silent as to the scope and circumstances of their operation, are said to be applicable. It describes how, over the last 40 years, rules of European law were first inserted into a structure which was rooted in the common law, then came to reconstruct the very foundations on which the subject was built, only to be abruptly revoked, with only fragments being retained. The consequences are only gradually being worked out.

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