Vanderbilt Law Review


Zelman Cowen

First Page



For American lawyers conflict of laws problems arise at two levels. One group of problems appears within the area governed by the Federal Constitution, while others arise within a wider international area. The decision of a New York forum in a case involving Michigan elements may very well differ from that reached by the same forum where the foreign elements involve England or France. The Constitution itself is often responsible for this difference. For example, questions of full faith and credit or of due process may be involved. It is not surprising, therefore, that the question has been posed whether the American conflict of laws has become a branch of constitutional law.' Once a problem reaches the constitutional level, there may well be a departure from the basic common law theory of the conflict of laws. This has been clearly demonstrated by Mr. Justice Jackson in the context of full faith and credit.