International Litigation and the Quest for Reasonableness: Essays in Private International Law

By Andreas F. Lowenfeld | Go to book overview
Save to active project

10
The Search for a Unifying Principle

It is evident that this group of essays makes no pretence to constituting a treatise, covering all the various aspects of private international law. But the effort has been to do more than merely present a collection of short stories, linked only by the annoying fact that the United States is a participant in nearly all of them. If this volume has been long (perhaps too long) on narrative and illustration, and short (perhaps too short) on doctrine, it has not been for want of a central theme. I do think that a common principle emerges from the various cases, episodes, and short stories here set out--the principle of reasonableness.


A. THE PRINCIPLE OF REASONABLENESS

Please note that this is not, as has sometimes been supposed, the same as the 'rule of reason' as it has been developed in American antitrust law as an alternative to per se liability.1 Reasonableness as the governing principle of private international law has a far wider scope. If we lived in the eighteenth century, we might call it Enlightenment. It invites questioning of mottos, maxims, axioms, and it rejects attitudes such as those of the House of Lords in Government of India v. Taylor,2 that we do not know how a rule came about or why, but it is a rule and we are surprised that anyone would want to change it. It encourages thinking, as in Asahi,3 about whether it makes sense to litigate a dispute between a Taiwanese tube maker and a Japanese valve maker in a California court, and it permits an answer to this question that would not exclude all judicial jurisdiction in an American court over the valve maker if it were the only solvent defendant available to compensate the injured plaintiff. In the debate about whether 'doing business' should be a basis for judicial jurisdiction, the principle of reasonableness prompts the question whether it is just to remit the Japanese widow to suit in Malaysia for the death of her husband, because he was killed on a domestic flight in that country and not on an international flight originating in Japan.

____________________
1
See, e.g., P. Areeda and D. Turner, Antitrust Law ( 1986), vii, ch. 15.
2
Ch. 6, sect. C(2).
3
Ch. 4, sect. E(2).

-228-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
International Litigation and the Quest for Reasonableness: Essays in Private International Law
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 246

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?