Journal of
Law and Conflict Resolution

  • Abbreviation: J. Law Conflict. Resolut
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9804
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLCR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 98

Article in Press

PITFALLS AND IMPERATIVES FOR CLARITY IN THE CLOSEST CONNECTION PRINCIPLE: CONFLICT OF LAW RULES OF NIGERIA IN FOCUS

CHRISTOPHER ASIAFITI

  •  Received: 28 September 2016
  •  Accepted: 11 September 2017
This paper evaluates the claim of “certainty and flexibility” associated with the most significant connection principle. The principle allows a forum court to apply the law of the state which is closest to the transaction. This occurs whenever parties to an international transaction fail to stipulate an applicable law in the event of any dispute. It is contended that this practice does not remove the burden of considering several other variables to ascertain the perceived relevant law. The closest connection principle, apart from its laborious tendencies, is clogged with the operation of renvoi and public policy. Yet opponents of the concept may not deny completely that it has significantly reduced the yoke of the forum court in having to go through some fortuitous events to arrive at the applicable law. Seemingly inflexible as the concept poses, an application of it in Nigeria, with a dual legal system would yield an improved social and commercial justice in conflict situations. The current Nigerian Conflict of Laws Rules are somewhat vague. The margins of discretion to dispense justice in conflict situations are too wide. The rules indeed necessitate some degree of clarity and flexibility as attained seemingly in Europe under the closest connection principle.

Keywords: LAW RULES