The selection of the law which is to govern tort liability is conceptually one of the most difficult problems in the conflict of laws, at any rate if the vast amount of learned discussion given to it by the writers is anything to go by. Much of the modern academic discussion and most of the case law emanates from the United States, and it is on this topic that American methodologies and methodologists chiefly concentrate. There has been little English case law on the question (though much more in Australia and Canada). This may suggest either that there is little litigation about torts committed abroad, or that litigants here do not trouble to prove any relevant rules of foreign law, perhaps because these rules are little different in effect from English rules of tort law in many cases.1
Also, the relative profuseness of the case law from the United States and the Commonwealth as compared with our own meagre collection is easily explained. In those countries there are several different jurisdictions; in North America about sixty. Of course, there are several in the British Isles. But a very great number of modern cases in all countries have arisen out of road traffic accidents; it is easier to drive a car across a land frontier than to cross the sea with it, and England's only land boundary is with Scotland.
Several different choice of law rules have been proposed from time to time as being the most appropriate, but some which have been adopted abroad have ceased to be applied there. One is the law of the place where the tort was committed (lex loci delicti commissi). This has found favour on the Continent of Europe and was the prevailing rule in the United States until its disadvantages, which had already led to its being outflanked, caused it to be abandoned in most states after 1962 in favour of a more flexible but more amorphous rule.
The lex fori has also been suggested as the governing law. This is easy to apply and is superficially attractive. Its earliest advocates had in mind____________________