Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The economy and the social systems of our country are national in character. From Maine to California, and now on to Hawaii and Alaska, goods and people move freely. The legal systems, in contrast, make a checkerboard, with each of the fifty states having its own laws and courts. In the international area, there is a distant parallel. South and west of the iron curtain there is increasing movement of goods and people across national frontiers, but the nations continue to cherish their legal differences. It is the responsibility of conflict of laws to deal with the interaction of the two sets of systems: one the economic and social systems and ready movement across legal frontiers, the other the diverse legal systems each one firmly anchored in the territory of its state or nation. The descriptive name of the subject and its task would be Coordination (not Conflict) of Laws...

This article, sketching some recent developments, follows the traditional division into jurisdiction of courts, foreign judgments, and choice of law. It ends with mention of the role of federal law and of federal courts law in the coordination of laws, and with a bare reminder of some aspects of international conflict of laws.