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Renvoi

Conflicts of laws appear whenever individuals are subject to different laws and
jurisdictions.
Problems with the application of foreign law could occur because the courts are not
familiar with the respective law, there are sometimes language and cultural problems, the
foreign law may belong to a totally different system of law, etc.
The forum applies the law of the place which has the most significant relationship to the
dispute.
1. Renvoi

Renvoi is the application of the conflict rules of one state by the court of another state, in order to
solve a conflict problem. Renvoi is a procedure which seems worthwhile in only a very few cases,
where its application is so very arbitrary that its place in the conflict of laws is questioned.
Single renvoi: the referral by the forum court to the conflict rules of a foreign state (but not the
foreign states renvoi rules). Thus the forum court applies the domestic law specified by the
foreign conflict rules. If there is a reference back to the forums domestic law, this is known as
remission. If there is a reference on to the domestic law of a third state, this is known as
transmission.
Double Renvoi: is the referral by the forum court to the conflict rules (including the renvoi rules)
of a foreign state. Thus the forum court applies the law specified by the foreign conflict rules
including the foreign renvoi rules. In the case of double renvoi and remission, it is possible that
the forum court will send the case back again, resulting in an endless game of judicial ping-pong.
Similarly, once transmission has taken place in the case of double renvoi and the recipient (third)
state invokes its conflict rules, the renvoi may go onwards or back again and endless judicial
orbiting could ensue.
Purpose: Renvoi was developed to counteract the territorial theory), the citizenship theory
(Napoleon and Mancini) and law of the flag in maritime law. Renvoi was adopted by modern
theories to overcome occasional absurdities and incongruities of result. However, with the more
realistic closest and most real connection (most significant relationship) test in the forefront,
renvoi is no longer necessary. For example, an early American decision, The Coastwise, used
renvoi when the most significant relationship test would have reached the same conclusion by
a more convincing route.
Renvoi, it was argued, would achieve uniformity in conflicts cases, regardless of where a
judgement was rendered. In other words, the application of the conflict rules of a foreign state
with an interest in the conflict was supposed to result in the same solution that the foreign court
would have provided. True uniformity of decisions, however, is difficult to achieve in this
manner because renvoi, by its nature, is applied indiscriminately ( la pice) for a short-term
solution.
Renvoi was often used as a crutch to obtain an equitable or convenient result, before the
development of the most significant relationship test. Proper, uniform and consistent conflict of
law rules, theory and methodology should be applied in order to obtain the just and proper
result, not renvoi, which is an indiscriminate and uncontrollable conflict of law tool. Renvoi is an
antiquated escape hatch, no longer necessary under modern private international law theory,
national conflict statutes and international conflict conventions (all of which, incidentally, usually
have escape hatches exceptions based on the closest and most real connection).
Renvoi is accepted less and less today. It is nevertheless interesting to see how renvoi has been
treated by authorities.