USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at //
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

LAW3463 Private International Law

Semester 2, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Law

Contents on this page


Examiner: Reid Mortensen
Moderator: Noeleen McNamara


Pre-requisite: LAW2202 and LAW2204 or LAW5602 and LAW5604


Private international law relates to litigation and private legal obligations that cross borders - whether national or state borders. The course includes the power of Australian courts to deal with international and interstate litigation, opportunities for and restraints on forum shopping, and the enforcement of foreign and interstate judgments. It also involves choice of law: the principles by which a court will apply the law of another country or state in nominated fields of contract, tort, marriage and divorce, and property law.


On successful completion of the course:

  1. students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of Australian private international law that includes:
    1.1: underlying principles and concepts, including international and comparative principles, of private international law; and
    1.2: the broader contexts within which multistate and cross-border legal issues arise.
  2. students should be able:
    2.1 to identify and articulate multistate and cross-border legal issues.
    2.2: to comprehend legal and other materials relevant to private international law.
    2.3: to apply legal reasoning and research to generate appropriate responses to multistate and cross-border legal issues.
    2.4: to engage in critical analysis of multistate and cross-border legal issues, and make a reasoned choice of legal and other materials amongst alternatives available for private international law.
  3. students should be able to demonstrate the intellectual skills needed to identify, research in an ethical manner, evaluate and synthesise factual, legal and policy issues relevant to multistate and cross-border legal issues.
  4. students will be able to learn and work independently, including by demonstrating management, planning and organisation skills and self-directed engagement and initiative in the study of private international law.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Multistate legal problems 8.30
2. The cross-border jurisdiction of Australian courts 8.30
3. Limitations and restraints on cross-border jurisdiction 8.30
4. The effect of foreign and interstate judgments 8.30
5. Choice of law method 1: the general part 8.30
6. Choice of law method 2: complications and exclusions 8.30
7. Personal connecting factors 8.30
8. International family law: marriage and other adult relationships 8.30
9. International family law: annulment and divorce 8.30
10. Choice of obligations law: contracts 8.30
11. Choice of obligations law: civil wrongs 8.30
12. Choice of property law: succession on death 8.70

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Mortensen, R, Garnett, R & Keyes, M 2011, Private international law in Australia, 2nd edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Collins, L (ed) 2006, Dicey, Morris and Collins on the conflict of laws, 14th edn, Sweet and Maxwell, London.
  • Davies, M, Bell, A & Brereton, P 2010, Nygh?s conflict of laws in Australia, 8th edn, LexisNexis Butterworths, Chatswood, New South Wales.
  • Fawcett, JJ & Carruthers, J 2008, Cheshire, North & Fawcett?s private international law, 14th edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  • Hay, P, Borchers, P & Symeonides, S 2010, Conflict of laws, 5th edn, West, St Paul, Minneapolis.
  • McEleavy, P & Beaumont, P 2011, Anton?s private international law, 3rd edn, Thomson/W Green, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assignments 40.00
Directed Study 50.00
Private Study 75.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ESSAY 1 35 35 17 Sep 2012
COURSE ENGAGEMENT 30 30 22 Oct 2012 (see note 1)
ESSAY 2 35 35 29 Oct 2012

  1. The nature of course engagement marks for on-campus students will require some attendance for exercise presentations and responses.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes at your campus. For all other students, there are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments: Students studying this course as part of a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor must use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) style. Students who are not enrolled in either of these programs may use either Harvard (AGPS) or the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. For AGLC style guide enquiries, consult the AGLC manual from the USQ Library's referencing guide at //, or contact the Law librarian. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at //

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at //