Book Chapter

Pragmatism and Private International Law



Beaumont P & Yekini A (2022) Pragmatism and Private International Law. In: Beaumont P & Holliday J (eds.) A Guide to Global Private International Law. First ed. Hart Studies in Private International Law, Vol 32. Oxford: Hart Publishing, pp. 17-30.

Private international law is the branch of law that seeks to resolve conflicts arising from cross-border relationships and the potential application of conflicting normative systems to a given case. Scholars differ on the objectives of private international law and the methods for resolving conflictual problems.[2] This chapter presents a pragmatic theory of private international law for the development of the subject globally, primarily by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). It builds on earlier work by Kegel[3] and by Beaumont and McEleavy[4] that outlined the importance of the discipline’s ability to separate conflicts justice from substantive justice (the latter being protected where necessary by exceptions – public policy and overriding mandatory rules – to the normal, objective conflicts justice rules).[5] The pragmatic approach emphasises the empirical study of the effectiveness of a variety of private international law solutions and of the underlying substantive law differences in order to design the best private international law solutions. This chapter makes a new contribution to the theory of pragmatism of private international law. First, it goes back to the work of the founders of pragmatism as an intellectual idea,[6] sets out some pragmatic goals for global private international law, and then develops the pragmatic method for global private international law relying on multilateralism, comparativism and empiricism.

Private International Law; theory; pragmatism; HCCH

Title of seriesHart Studies in Private International Law
Number in seriesVol 32
Publication date31/12/2022
Publication date online30/05/2022
PublisherHart Publishing
Place of publicationOxford
ISSN of series2634-5064

People (1)


Professor Paul Beaumont

Professor Paul Beaumont

Professor of Private International Law, Law