International private law

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International private law (abbreviation IPR ; also conflict of laws ) is the term used in jurisprudence to refer to the entirety of the legal clauses of national law that determine which of several possible national private legal systems is to be applied in a case of conflict. A collision occurs when a matter has an international connection. In these cases of conflict, international law answers the question of whether domestic or foreign law is applicable or, if applicable, which foreign law is applicable within several conflicting foreign laws.

Collision rule

The matter, which is complicated even for lawyers, is regularly applicable when different legal systems collide (collide) due to foreign contact . The respective conflict of law rules then either determine the applicable standard or refers to the conflict of law rules of another state; in the latter cases there is the possibility of referral back and referral. A distinction is made between the imperfect and perfect collision rule.

  • the imperfect (or one-sided) conflict of laws rule responds to the question of when one's own national law applies,
  • the perfect (or bilateral) conflict of law rule, however, also expresses itself on the question of whether and which foreign law is to be applied.

National law

Contrary to what the name suggests, international private law is not international, but national domestic law. Each state legal system therefore has its own international private law (with IPR being largely standardized within the EU). The respective point of contact is left to the national legislature, so that a legal relationship according to the respective international private law of a state can be subject to different - even conflicting - material norms.


Legal situation in individual countries

For the legal situation in individual countries, see:



  • Peter Hay and Hannes Rösler : International private and civil procedure law . 5th edition. CH Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-67398-6 .
  • Horatia Muir Watt: Private international law . In: Jan M. Smits (Ed.): Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law . Edward Elgar, Cheltenham / Northampton, MA 2006, ISBN 1-84542-013-6 , pp. 566-577 .
  • Mathias Reimann: Comparative Law and Private International Law . In: Mathias Reimann , Reinhard Zimmermann (eds.): Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2008, ISBN 978-0-19-953545-3 , pp. 1363-1396 .

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