Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Article emphasizes the importance of teaching transnational materials in the conflict of laws class. The rapid development of the "global village" has increased the importance and need for law students to understand how conflicts issues are resolved throughout the world. A failure to address transnational issues will leave students unprepared for the world, especially the legal marketplace, that they will enter after law school.

The author suggests that the traditional study of public international law, regarding the law governing relations between states, as well as the law between states and intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, is insufficient for contemporary law students. Law schools would assist their students significantly by encouraging them to look through the 'second window" of private international law as well. Since the 1950s, a substantial body of private international law has developed to address transnational commercial activities.

Looking at trends in private international commercial law, this Article focuses on the 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Law Applicable to International Contracts. The author discusses United States concerns regarding the negotiation of this convention and examines its salient features, scope of application, and substantive provisions. The Article also examines similar developments in two United Nations conventions. Finally, the Article concludes by suggesting several trends and opportunities for the late 1990s in private international law.