Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2005

Publication Title

Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law


European Union (EU), United States (US), harmonization, states' laws, globalization, international commerce, Lea Brilmayer, Andrew Guzman


Europe has been under the increasing influence of European Union (E.U.) lawmakers, who have undertaken a harmonization movement attempting to somewhat unify member states' laws. The conflict of laws area has not escaped the harmonization movement and will become increasingly subject to Brussels's regulations and directives. Thus, traditional bilateral rules will have to adapt themselves in light of the new political reality in Europe.

Second, the conflicts field in general, be it in Europe or in the U.S., has been transformed under today's globalization trend. In other words, with the rise of international commerce, traditional private law conflicts are being replaced by public regulations clashes involving different states' economic or regulatory interests. Thus, the conflicts field might have to adapt itself both by trying to adopt universal rules, applicable on all continents, and by trying to adopt new methodologies capable of dealing with the complex conflicts situation of the global village. European bilateral rules are not likely to furnish interesting models, as they are already under attack in Europe itself, and because they do not provide a basis for the application of foreign public law. However, two American choice of law models, one developed by Lea Brilmayer and the other by Andrew Guzman might provide some needed solutions.

Part I of this Article briefly discusses both Brilmayer's and Guzman's theories. Part II then addresses the harmonization movement in Europe, and Part III concentrates on the "publicization" of conflicts of law. Both Parts II and III also discuss the possibility of adopting Brilmayer's and Guzman's theories in Europe as well as the U.S. as universal conflicts models capable of resolving modern-day legal system collisions. Finally, Part IV discusses conflicts of economic regulations and the disappearing taboo of public law conflicts rules.