Private International Law (Harvey)

Course Number
LAW 3850
Course Description

Sometimes called conflict of laws, Private International Law (PIL) has to do with choosing in the court of what place to sue, when an action might be pursued in the courts of two or more places, what law is the court to apply, when the law of more than one place might be applied, and with the enforcement of judgments through foreign courts.

COURSE CONTENT: This Course, taught from a litigation perspective, deals with situations in which a choice has to be made about where to sue, about the law to be applied, and about the enforcement of a judgement in another jurisdiction. For example, if a contract is made in one country to be performed in another country between parties from different countries, or if a deceased dies owning assets in more than one country, or if the parties to a tort action do not both reside in the country where the tort occurred. The Course also deals with advising a defendant who has been sued in a foreign court.

PRACTICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT: The term “country” in the description of the Course content above, in the case of a federation such as Canada or the U.S.A., means each individual state or province of the federation; so, one can easily imagine the frequency of PIL situations. For many years Private International Law was a compulsory Course. Some academics feel strongly that it should still be a compulsory Course. Certainly, for anyone contemplating specializing in civil litigation, this Course is as essential as Civil Procedure, Evidence, the Advocacy Courses, Administrative Law, and Negotiation. Given the incidence of commercial transactions involving the sale of goods or services not wholly within Manitoba and of Manitobans owning property elsewhere than in Manitoba, it is not inaccurate to say that this Course is of real importance to a solicitor’s practice as well.

Teaching Method

The classes will involve lecture and discussion of problems representative of the end of term examination problem questions.


A 100% end of term, open book examination, composed of a selection of questions from which a specified number will have to be answered with no compulsory question(s).

Course Materials

In-House Course Material