TORT LIABILITY IN THE ANGLO-NIGERIAN AND AMERICAN CONFLICT OF LAWS

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TORT LIABILITY IN THE ANGLO-NIGERIAN AND AMERICAN CONFLICT OF LAWS

ABSTRACT

Torts in the Conflict of Laws has assumed an important position all over the world in recent times because of the rate of increase in interaction between peoples of different legal systems, brought about by technological developments. In some countries, the rules towards the solution of the issue have changed to take care of emerging problems created by the inadequacy of past rules in providing for them. However, choice of law rules in commonwealth countries, including Nigeria is not sophisticated enough to solve the problems of conflict of tort cases in contemporary times. The approaches of the courts in Commonwealth countries have not only remained rigid, conservative and absurd, but have created an atmosphere for hibernating unfair and absurd decisions. American courts, in contrast, have shown their readiness to change their attitudes in tune with the requirements of society. This work is therefore,a study of comparative legal approaches, as well as judicial principles. It highlights the three most prominent choice of law approaches in the English speaking world; the Rule in Phillips V. Eyre, the lex loci delicti approach and the proper law of the tort approach, as they affect various issues in a tort proceedings in the Conflict of Laws. I X ( a ) . The research is composed of eight main chapters, each touching on major issues in tort proceedings in the Conflict of Laws and the mode of resolution adopted in the Four countries under study, viz: England, Australia, America and Nigeria. Chapter One deals with the preliminary issue of establishing the jurisdiction of the court over the subject-matter and the p a r t i e s . Under the Chapter, rules of j u r i s d i c t i o n in the Four Countries have been examined. Chapter two deals with the issue of c l a s s i f i c a t i on under i t , the importance of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of r u l e s of law and the subject-matter Chapter three contains an examination of the various ways evolved for the determination of the place of t o r t , and the importance attached to it. Chapter Four gives an insight into the mode of determination of the proper p l a i n t i f f and the proper defendant to the proceeding. Chapter Five is the Kernel of the research, it contains a discussion of the three choice of the law approaches in England, Australia and Nigeria, and their practical application by the courts of those countries. I X ( b )o Chapter six examines the relevance, and d i f f i c u l t i e s pertaining the necessity to invoice public policy reasons for purposes of excluding foreign law from applying. Chapter seven examines the recognised defences available to the defendant under the three choice of law approaches. Chapter eight deals with the twin issues of determining remoteness of damage, and the assessment of damages. Chapter nine is the concluding chapter in which major problem areas have been re-appraised, and suggestions made for reforming the Nigeria law

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