Foreign Law in Australian Courts: Neilson v Overseas Projects Corporation of Victoria Ltd
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In Neilson v Overseas Projects Corporation of Victoria Ltd, the High Court determined for the first time whether a reference by the Australian tort choice of law rule to foreign law as the law of the place of the tort includes the foreign law’s private international law rules. This article explains the High Court’s decision about what is meant by the foreign law in an international tort dispute and its decision about how the foreign law should be applied if this is not fully proven by the parties. It critically considers the High Court’s contradictory responses to certain choices as to the conduct of litigation made by the plaintiff in Neilson. It argues that a flexible exception to the general tort choice of law rule could and should have been adopted and applied in Neilson. Finally, the implications of this decision for international contract disputes are briefly outlined.
Torts Law Journal
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