CONCEPTS

What is private international law?

We explain what private international law is and what its purpose is. In addition, its history, sources, principles and other characteristics.

  1. What is private international law?

Private international law is the branch of law that deals with international legal matters other than the relationship between different States.

That is, it deals with the resolution of conflicts of international competence , conflicts of international laws, international procedural cooperation and the legal status of foreigners. That is, it intervenes in the areas where there is a private interest or that occurs between private entities. For this reason it is often referred to as International Civil Law.

However, we must note that private international law, in many cases, far from resolving the dispute in dispute, proceeds to determine which legal order among the countries involved should prevail to resolve the dilemma. That is, it always assumes a normativist position .

This does not prevent that, in the face of the dynamics of the global market and a world in constant globalization , more substantive changes and positions arise within this branch of law, aimed at fostering a new study of international private legal relations.

  1. History of private international law

There are different positions regarding the origin of private international law. Some scholars place it in antiquity , especially in the legal systems of Ancient Greece or the Roman Empire, given that Roman Law gives rise to a significant percentage of our legal understanding.

However, according to other authors, this branch of law began in the thirteenth century , when the Bolognese lawyer Francesco d’Accorso (1225-1293) imposed on the courts of the city of Modena the use, in certain cases, of the Bolognese jurisprudence . Thus he introduced for the first time the principle of extraterritoriality of the State, and founded the existence of an international private law.

  1. Sources of private international law

Private international law has two different regimes of sources , although the first is the most used to resolve conflicts. These regimes are:

  • National sources . Those that have to do with the ordination of a single nation, that is, to its internal laws , and that are those emanating from its legislation , its jurisprudence and its customs.
  • International sources . Those that are typical of the international community, such as international treaties and conventions.
  1. Object of private international law

private international trade law
Private international law makes international trade possible.

This branch of law is aimed at the pursuit of harmony in the private legal regulations of the different States , among which there is a specific relationship of law.

This implies the guarantee of legal rights in the international sphere, both for private entities and for situations in which States act as private entities. Thus, international trade and justice are possible through the application of local and foreign law, as it competes.

  1. Characteristics of private international law

In general, private international law is characterized by being:

  • National , as each country dictates its own norms and approaches to international law, which is why there is scope for conflict and mediation.
  • Positive , given that its regulations are registered in the formal legal texts of each country, and even in those signed on a bilateral or reciprocal basis between several countries.
  • Particularly , as regards the term “foreigner” in their relationships.
  1. Principles of private international law

The main principles of private international law are four:

  • Locus regit actum , that is, “the place governs the acts”, means that the actions will be legal or not depending on where they take place, since the legal framework of each country is its own.
  • Lex loci rei sitae , that is, “The law of the place where things are located” means that the goods will always be transferred according to the law of the place where they are located.
  • Mobilia sequuntur personam , that is, “Things follow people” means that things that are owned by a person are governed by the law by which that person is governed.
  • Lex fori , that is, “Forum Law,” means that the law of the judge that discriminates against it will apply to each conflict, that is, that of your State.
  1. Public international law

The two main branches of international law, public and private, differ from each other in that they are interested in international law from different points of view. It is the same distinction that exists within the jurisprudence between private law and public law .

On the one hand, private international law deals with the legal relations of the populations of the different countries. On the other hand, public international law deals with relations between different countries and states , such as territorial conflicts or disputes between their respective sovereignty.

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