The Public in Private International Law


Chancellor Day Hall NCDH 202, 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

The Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law continues its 2016-2018 Civil Law Workshops series, “Le public en droit privé”, with a talk by Professor Celia Fassberg (Hebrew University of Jerusalem).


The vindication of private rights in a cross-border situation introduces a series of questions that have to be considered in addition to the traditional private law analysis familiar from domestic situations. Who can sue and who can be sued in a local court, and for what? Should local or foreign law apply? What assistance should a local court give a foreign court? What is the local significance of a foreign judicial decision? 

These questions are quite distinct from the private law analysis and they inevitably touch - directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly - on public interests of both local and foreign sovereigns. It is then not surprising that while designed to facilitate the enforcement of private rights, private international law demonstrates a preoccupation with the appropriate weight to be attached to local and foreign public interests and the appropriate way in which to express them. It should be no more surprising that the sense of what is appropriate should fluctuate with changes in the relationship between public and private law and changes in the relationship between states.

The presentation will explore different manifestations of this preoccupation with the “public” in each area of private international law (jurisdiction, choice of law, foreign judgments, and legal assistance to foreign courts), drawing on methodological and doctrinal examples of attempts to assert or to suppress local public concerns, to repel or to admit foreign public intrusions.

Civil Law Workshops

In order to promote fundamental research in private law, the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law initiated the “Civil Law Workshops” series, bringing together jurists from Québec and beyond to work on related research topics. With their cross-disciplinary focus, the “Civil Law Workshops” contribute to enriching and stimulating fundamental research in private law.

The 2016-2018 series of Civil Law Workshops presented by the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law explore “Le public en droit privé”.

The workshops are presented with financial assistance from Justice Canada’s Support Fund for Access to Justice in Both Official Languages.

Registration is not required. Each workshop has been accredited for 1.5 hour of continuing legal education by the Barreau du Québec and the Chambre des notaires du Québec.