Public Policy in the Conflict of Laws

Monrad G. Paulsen
Michael I. Sovern, Columbia Law School


In deciding a conflict of laws question, a judge will sometimes say, "The foreign law ordinarily applicable will not be applied in this case because to do so would violate our public policy." The textwriters, language in the cases, and the Restatement agree: the "normal" operation of choice of law rules is subject to a "public policy" limitation. This paper is an attempt to explore the meanings and significance of "public policy," used in this general way, in the conflict of laws.