Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)


This unit looks at the principles that the Australian courts apply to civil cases in which not all facts are linked to a single jurisdiction. There may be links to foreign countries or to more than one Australian jurisdiction. The main questions considered in this unit are:

  • when do the Australian courts assume jurisdiction in civil and commercial cases involving a foreign element?
  • when can foreign judgments in civil and commercial matters be enforced in Australia?
  • what are the general principles of choosing the applicable law in cases involving a foreign element?
  • what are the specific rules of choosing the applicable law for contract, tort and marriage?
  • what are the theories underlying the rules on choice of law?

This unit is highly useful for students who plan to go into legal practice.


Students who successfully complete this unit should:

  1. be in a position to identify when a particular fact situation involving a foreign element raises conflictual issues, and what those issues are
  2. be able to advise on how those issues would be approached by an Australian court
  3. have some awareness of the theoretical and policy justifications for the conflictual rules that would be applied in such a situation
  4. have an appreciation of the rules that govern the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Australia
  5. have an appreciation of the private international law aspects of jurisdictional questions
  6. be able to examine critically the current state of the law relating to conflicts
  7. have some awareness of how conflicts are resolved in other jurisdictions, both under the common law and under civil law.


Class Participation: 10%; Research assignment (max. 2000 words): 40%; and examination (2 hours writing and 30 minutes reading and noting): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures per week


LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104; LAW2100 or LAW2101 and LAW2102; LAW2200 or LAW2201 and LAW2202