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ON THE

CONFLICT OF LAWS,

OR

PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW.

BY

FRANCIS WHARTON, LL. D.,

MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW,
AUTHOR OF TREATISES ON CRIMINAL LAW, ON EVIDENCE, ON NEGLIGENCE, AND ON

AGENCY

SECOND EDITION.

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PHILADELPHIA:
KAY AND BROTHER, 17 AND 19 SOUTH SIXTH STREET,
Law Booksellers, Publishers, and importers.

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PREFACE,

SINCE the publication of the first edition of this book the literature on the topic has more than doubled. In the United States we have as many rulings bearing on private international law since 1870 as were reported prior to that period. But the reports form but a small portion of the material which a student in this department is obliged to consult. His duty is to discover not merely the local law in his own country, but the local law in all other countries ; not merely the arguments by which we defend our own present conclusions, but the arguments by which the systems of other countries and eras are defended; not merely the national, but the cosmopolitan, phase of jurisprudence. We must consider, therefore, not only the reports of our own courts and of the courts of England, but the reports of the courts of the leading states of the continent of Europe. But so far as concerns the continent of Europe this forms but a small part of our task. In Germany, France, Belgium, and Italy, the jurists mould the courts, not the courts the jurists. The judges do not pretend, as do our judges, to give opinions by which their decisions are fitted into a symmetrical system of law, and by which the precedent made to-day sub ordinates itself to the past and dominates the future. This work is left to the jurists; the courts do little more than register the decisions in each particular case. It is by jurists, and not by judges or practising lawyers, that codes are framed; it is by jurists, and not by judges, that a common law is built up.

Now it so happens that on this topic of private international law some

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