Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



In this Article, Professor Silberman suggests that comparative law materials can usefully be introduced in the conflict of laws course. She proposes the subject of adjudicatory jurisdiction as a good place to start. She argues that a comparison of the U.S. approach with the English and European approaches (particularly under the Brussels Convention) is evidence of the desirability of a jurisdictional system grounded more on rules and/or discretion rather than on a constitutional standard of reasonableness. She takes issue with the contention of her colleague Professor Andreas Lowenfeld that "reasonableness" has been accepted as an international standard for the assertion of jurisdiction, and she maintains that the English and Europeans show a strong preference for greater jurisdictional precision. Concerns for fairness, she contends, are best treated as matters of discretion and not constitutional principle. The Article concludes that the comparative study of jurisdictional rules not only expands students' knowledge by introducing them to the laws of other countries but also promotes a more informed evaluation of the jurisdiction law of the United States.