* In the preparation of this paper, the present author
would like to express his gratitude to the law library
staff at Thammsat University for providing historical documents and
** Assistant Professor, Associate Dean for Research and Academic Seminar,
Editor in Chief of Thammasat Law Journal, Faculty of Law Thammasat University
1) A definition of private international law can be found in topic II
of this article.
2) See Eugen Dietrich Graue, Private International Law and Comparative
Law Today, 10 Law and State 79 (1974) ; Arthur von Mehren, The Contribution
of Comparative Law to the Theory and Practice of Private International
Law, 26 American Journal of Comparative Law (Supp.) 31, 32-33 (1978);
Otto Kahn-Freund, General Problems of Private International Law (1980),
at 23; KONRAD ZWEIGERT and HEIN KOTZ, AN INTRODUCTION TO COMPARATIVE
LAW (Tony Weir trans., 1998) at 6-7; Friedrich K. Juenger, The Need
for a Comparative Approach to Choice-of Law Problems, 73 Tulane Law
Review 1309 ff (1999); Mathias Reimann, Parochialism in American Conflicts
Law, 49 American journal of Comparative Law 369 ff (2001); Benedicte
Fauvarque-Cosson, Comparative and Conflict of laws: Allies or Enemies?
New Perspectives on an Old Couple, 49 American Journal of Comparative
Law 407 ff (2001).
3) See Kurt Siehr, Revolution and Evolution in Conflicts Law, 60 Louisana
Law Review 1353 (2000); Friedrich K. Juenger, How Do You Rate A Century,
37 Willamette Law Review 89, 99-101 (2001).
4) See CLIVE M. SCHMITTHOFF, A TEXTBOOK OF THE ENGLISH
CONFLICT OF LAWS (PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW) 2-11 (1948); MARTIN WOLFF,
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW 5 (1962) ; KURT LIPSTEINE, PRINCIPLES OF THE
CONFLICT OF LAWS NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL 1, 104 (1981); Sompong Sucharitkul,
Some Preliminary Considerations on International Law (in Thai), Botbundit
Journal vol. 20 (B.E.2505), at 79,84.; PE. NYGH, CONFLICT OF LAWS IN
AUSTRALIA 2 (1976); J.-G CASTEL, INTRODUCTION TO CONFLICT OF LAWS 3-5
(1978); O.KAHN-FREUND, GENERAL PROBLEMS OF PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW
8-9 (1980); J.G. Sauveplanne, New Trends in the Doctrine of Private
International Law and Their Impact on Court Practice, ecueil Des Cours
(1982) at 18; DICEY AND MORRIS ON THE CONFLICT OF LAWS (Lawrence Collins
ed., 1993) at 3-4; ABLA J. MAYSS, PRINCIPLES OF CONFLICT OF LAWS 1,
(1996); ELIZABETH B. CRAWFORD, INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LAW IN SCOTLAND
1-2 (1998); JOHN O'BRIEN, CONFLICT OF LAWS 3-4 (1999) ; J.G. COLLIER,
CONFLICT OF LAWS 3 (1994 ); INTER-NATIONAL CONTRACTS: ASPECTS OF JURISDICTION,
ARBITRATION AND PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW (Marielle Koppenol-Laforce
et at. eds., 1996) at 113 ; CONFLICT OF LAWS: CASE AND MATERIALS, PETER
HAY (et al eds.) 1 (2000); EUGENE F. SCOLES (et al), CONFLICT OF LAWS
1-2 (2000); PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW AT THE END OF THE 20th CENTURY:
PROGRESS OR REGRESS? (Symeon C. Symeonides ed., 2000) at 5-12 ;ADRIAN
BRIGGS, THE CONFLICT OF LAWS 1-3 (2002); MICHEL TILBURY (et al), CONFLICT
OF LAWS IN AUSTRALIA 3 (2002).
5) See KURT LIPSTEINE, supra note, at 1; Friedrich K.
Juenger, supra note 2, at 1310
6) See Mo Zhang, International Civil Litigation in China: A Practical
Analysis of the China Judicial System, 25 Boston Collage International
and Comparative Review 59,75 (2002)
7) See ANTON, PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW: A TREATISE FROM THE STANDPOINT
OF SCOTS LAW (1990).
8) See MICH AEL TILBURT, supra note 4, at 4-5
9) See FRIEDDRICH K. JUENGER, GENERAL COURSE ON PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL
LAW, Recueil Des Cours 134-135 (1983).
10) See Introductory Act to the German Civil Code of August 15, 1896
(Including Amendments to January
1, 1992) (Simon L. Goren trans., 1994) ; the Peruvian Private International
in New Civil Code of 1984, November 14, 1984 (The text of Peruvian Private
International Law in New
Civil Code of 1984 appears at 24 International Legal Material 997 (1985);
the Greek Civil Code containing rules of conflict of laws, see Zoe Papassiopi-Passia,
Law on Divorce and The "Ordre Public" Reservation in Greek
Conflict of Laws,
60 Louisiana Law Review 1227 (2000). As to the Russian Civil Code, see
Viktor P. Zvekov,
The New Civil Code of the Russian Federation And Private international
Law, 44 McGill
Law Journal 525 (1999).
11) See The Switzerland's Private International Law Statute of December
18,1987 (Introduced, Translated and Annotated by Pierre A. Karrer and
Karl.W. Arnold,1989); The Italian International Private Statute of May
31, 1995. (The text of the Italian private international law is available
at 25 North Carolina Journal of International Law & Commercial Regulation
271 ff.; The Argentinean Draft Code of Private International Law (appear
at 24 International Legal Material 269, 1985)
12) Aside from common law system, there are a number
of European countries where their private international law can be systematically
formed and elaborated in judicial decisions. Netherlands is a country
where its private international law can be found in case law. See Th.
M.de Boer, The Hague Conference and Dutch Choice of Law: Some Criticisms
and A Suggestion, Netherlands (1993) at I.; SYMEON C. SYMEONIDES (ed.),
supra note, at 296
13) See KURT LIPSTEINE, supra note 4, at 63, 67
14) Id. at 64
15) Id. at 80.
16) Id. at 64-65.
17) Id. at 67.
18) According to Japanese Private International Law, Horei in Japan,
it is concerned with the application of laws. There are a few works
concerning Japanese conflict of laws in English. See Junko Torii, Revision
of Private International Law in Japan, The Japanese Annual of International
Law [No. 33, 1990],pp 54-67. In addition, the Japanese text can be found
in the book named Basic Japanese Laws (1997), for which Prof. Hirochi
Oda served as an editor.
19) See O'BRIEN, CONFLICT OF LAWS 5-5,16-17 (1999); ELIZABETH B. CRAWFORD,
INTERNATIONAL PRIVATE LAW IN SCOTLAND I (1998); MARIELLE KOPPNOL-LAFORCE
(ed.), INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTS 113,1996; J.G. COLLIER, CONFLICT OF LAWS
3 (1994); CASTEL, INTRODUCTION TO CONFLICT OF LAWS, 3-4 (1978); MAYSS,
PRINCIPLES OF CONFLICT OF LAWS 1-2 (1999).
In the case of Chinese Private International Law, China scholars pointed
out that the scope of private international law is conflict of laws
and international procedure. See Tung-Pi- Chen, Private International
Law of the People's Republic of China: An Overview, 35 The American
Journal of Comparative Law 448-449 (1987); Huang Jin, Commentaries on
the Conflict Law in International Law Commercial Matters in China, available
at httn://www. Teem.ore.mo/projects/ecli/Reports/ conflict.html
20) See Parra- Aranguren, General Course of Private
International Law, Recueil des Cours 1988 111, pp.30-31;
21) See MARTIN WOLFF, PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW 9-10 (1962); EARNST
RABLE, THE CONFLICT OF LAWS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY vol. One 3 (1945);
Parra-Aranguren, supra note 4, at 30.; Th M. De Boer, Facultative Choice
of Law : The Procedural Status of Choiceof-Law Rules and Foreign Law,
Recueil Des Cours (1996), at 274-275
22) See AMOS & WALTON'S INTRODUCTION TO FRENCE LAW 42 (F.H.LAWSON
et al. eds., 1967).
23) See ADRIAN BRIGGS, supra note 4, at 1; Friedrich K. Juenger, supra
note 2 , at 1310
24) See MANUAL OF GERMAN LAW (E.J. Cohn ed., 1971) at 94;
25) See Parra-Arangure, Supra note 20 at 32
26) Id at 33.
27) These notions are called gimmicks by Professor Siehr. See Kurt G.
Siehr, Domestic Relations in Europe: European Equivalents to American
Evolutions, 30 The American Journal of Comparative Law 37, 63 (1982).
28) See Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 530/2468 B.E.
29) See Judgment of the Supreme Court No.465/2478 B.E.
30) See MARTIN WOLF; supra note 4, at 280.
31) Article 10 paragraph one of Act on Conflict of
Laws B.E. 2481 states that "The capacity or incapacity of person
is governed by the law of nationality of such person".
32) Id.. at 281-282.
33) See Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 896/2478 B.E.
34) The author would like to outline the biographical statement of Dr.
Yut Sangoudhai in brief. He was born on 8 April in 2451 B.E. After earning
a barrister at law, he, without hesitation, went to Berlin University
where he studied and wrote a thesis concerning conflict of laws. His
adviser was Professor Martin Wolff, one of the leading voices on conflict
of laws. Dr. Yut finished his dissertation with magma cum laude. Upon
the successful completion of his education in Berlin, he worked at The
Council of State. He also taught many subjects such as private international
law, constitutional law, criminal law etc at several learned institutions.
Although his regular workload was very heavy, he also wrote plenty of
textbooks and articles, including various publications. Although he
was not a regular lecturer, Dr. Yut, a prolific writer, devoted himself
to academic tasks throughout his whole life. He passed away on 30 December
in 2522 B.E., leaving behind his invaluable works. Needless to say,
the loss of Dr. Yut, one of the pillars of the Thai legal system, was
35) See K. GRZYBOWSKI (et al), STUDIES IN POLISH LAW
36) See PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW AT THE END OF THE 20th CENTURY: PROGREE
OR REGRESS?, SYMEON C. SYMEONIDES (ed.) 319 (2000).
37) Judgment of the Thai Supreme Court No. 834/2485
38) Judgment of the Thai Supreme Court No. 463/2485.
39) Judgment of the Thai Supreme Court No. 610/2496.; Judgment of the
Thai Supreme Court No 5887/2533.
40) Judgment of the Thai Supreme Court No. 1950/2529.
41) Judgment of the Thai Supreme Court No.307/2495.
43) Judgment of the Thai Supreme Court No 2357/2520.
44) Judgment of the Thai Supreme Court No 3223/2525.; Judgment of the
Thai Supreme Court No.5809/ 2539.
45) See RUSSELL J. WEINTRAUB, COMMENTARY ON THE CONFLICT OF LAWS 3 (1986).
46) Like English Conflict of Laws, foreign law is a question of fact
not a legal point, so foreign law must be proved by expert witnesses.
47) Judgment of Thai Supreme Court No. 3223/2525.; Judgment of Thai
Supreme Court No. 1950/2529/
48) See O. Kahn-Freund, General Problems of Private International Law,
at 1; P.E. NYGH, supra note 4, at 2
49) See ELIZABETH B. CRAWFORD, supra note 4, at I
50) See Rodolfo de Nova, Historical and Comparative
Introduction to Conflict of Laws, Hague Recuil des Coures II, 1966,
p.478; Sauveplanne, Renvoi, International Encyclopedia of Comparative
Law volume III: Private International Law, 1990, p.9; Lipstein, p. 210;
J.-G. CASTEL, supra note 4, at 4, MAYSS, supra note 4, at. I -2;Vischer,
General Course on Private International Law, Hague Recuil des Coures
1992 1, p.23
51) See MARTIN WOLFF, supra note 4, at 19.
52) See PETER NORTH, PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW PROBLEMS IN COMMON LAW
JURISDICTIONS 5 (1993)
53) MARTIN WOLFF, supra note 4, at 324
54) See Title IV Thing Section 16, Act on Conflict of Laws BE 2481
55) This principle is called lex situs in Latin.
56) SeeVeronique Ailarousse, A Comparative Approach to the Conflict
of Characterization in Private International Law, 23 Case Western Reserve
Journal of International Law 479 (1991)
57) See ERANST RABEL, supra note 21,at 47-48; COLLIER,
supra note 4, at 15-18
58) This theory was invented by two renowned lawyers, namely, Professor
Kanh, a German jurist, and
Professor Bartin, a French jurist. They found the problem of classification
59) This theory was suggested by Professor Martin Wolff, an outstanding
German jurist. Any
students who are interested in lex causae theory should read Wolff us
book. Martin Wolff, supra note 5,
60) In the past, the Italian private international law contained in
the Italian Civil Code of 1942 denied a doctrine of renvoi. Currently,
the Italian statute on private international law of 1995 recognizes
the concept of renvoi embodied in article 13.
61) See J. Georges Sauverlanne, Renvoi, in International Encyclopedia
of Comparative Law (Kurt Lipstein Chief Editor, 1990) at 16, 17,23;
MARTIN WOLFF, supra note 4, at 197; G.ParraAranguren, supra note 20,
at 80; Marielle Koppenol-Laforce (ed.), International Contracts : Aspects
of Jurisdiction, Arbitration and Private International Law (1996), at
62) See Beda Wortmann, Choice of Law by Arbitrators: The Applicable
Conflict of Laws System, 14 Arbitration International 97, 98 (1998).
63) Amin Rasheed Corp. v. Kuwait Insce.  A.C. 50, 61-62. 64
65) See Article 15 of the Rome Convention.
66) See CASTEL, supra note 3, at 41-44; J.G. COLLIER, supra note 4,
at 36-39;MAYSS, supra note 4, at 9-10
67) See CLIVE M. SCHMITTHOFF, supra note, at 373.
68) See Th M. De Boer, Facultative Choice of Law:
The Procedural Status of Choice-of -Law Rules and Foreign Law, Recueil
Des Cours (1996), at 256-257, 258-262
69) Trevor C. Hartley, Pleading and Proof of Foreign Law: The Major
European Systems Compared, 45 International and Comparative Law Quarterly
282 (1996), JOHN O'BRIEN, supra note 4, at 145; ELIZABETH B. CRAWFORD,
supra note 4, at 47; Imre Zajtay, The Application of Foreign Law, Encyclopedia
of Comparative Law, at 4, 12
70) See Trevor C. Hartley, supra note 69, at 283
71) See Richard Fentiman, Foreign Law in English Court, 108 The Law
Quarterly Review 142, 143 (1992).
72) J.G. COLLIER, supra note 4, at 36.
73) P.E. NYGH, CONFLICT OF LAWS IN AUSTRALIA 190-197 (1976).
74) See J.G. CASTEL, INTRODUCTION TO CONFLICT OF LAWS 41 (1978) 7' ELIZABETH
B. CRAWFORD, supra note 4, at 47
76) See J.G. COLLIER, supra note 4, at 37.
77) See JOHN O'BRIEN, supra note 4, at 147
78) See MANUAL OF GERMAN LAW volume II (Completely
revised by O.C GILES, E,J COHN, M. BOHNDOR & J. TOMASS 9 (1952).
Trevor C. Hartley, supra note, at 275 v See MARTIN WOLFF, supra note
4, at 218
80) According to Swiss Statute on private international law, article
16 (1) stipulates that "Le contenu du droit etranger est etabli
d' ofce" ( The content of foreign law must be established ex officio)
81) By virtue of article 14, it provides that "The court shall
on its own motion ascertain the foreign law"
82) See Judgment of Thai Supreme No. 447/2540; Judgment of Thai Supreme
B3) Article 8 stipulates that "When the law of a foreign country
which is to govern is not proved to the
satisfaction of the Court, the internal law of Siam shall apply."
84) See MARTIN WOLFF, supra note 4, at. 168-185; DICEY & MORRIS
ON THE CONFLICT OF LAWS, LAWRENCE COLLINS (ed.) 88-114 (1993).
85 See JOHN O'BRIEN, supra note 4, at 151;
86) See P. E. NYGH, supra note 4, at 198-200.
87) Judgment of the Thai Supreme Court no. 1583/2511
88) The approach of the prescription or the limitation of action between
continental and common law countries is different. Whereas civil law
system regards the rule on prescription as a part of substantive law,
common law countries views the limitation as a procedural law. See Boele-Woelki,
The Limitation of Actions in the International Sale of Goods, The Uniform
Law Review 1999