Centre for Advanced Legal Studies and Research, (CALSAR), Thiruvananthapuram

Navigating Jurisdictional Boundaries: An overview of Private International Law in India

Bhagyanath M.K.
9th sem B.Com LLB

Private International Law, also known as Conflict of Laws, plays a crucial role in resolving legal
disputes that involve elements crossing national borders. In a globalized world, where
individuals and businesses often have international interactions, understanding how legal
systems interact is essential. This article provides an overview of Private International Law in India, shedding light on its significance, principles, and key aspects.


Private International Law pertains to cases where the legal issues transcend the boundaries of a
single jurisdiction. In India, this area of law is primarily governed by statutes, customary
international law, and judicial precedents.

2)Choice of Law:

One of the key questions in Private International Law is determining which country’s laws should
apply to a particular dispute. Indian courts follow the doctrine of “lex loci contractus” (law of the
place where the contract is made) in contract matters and “lex loci delicti” (law of the place
where the tort occurred) in tort cases.


Jurisdiction refers to a court’s authority to hear a case. Indian courts apply the principles of the
Code of Civil Procedure to determine jurisdiction. The concept of “forum non conveniens” allows
Indian courts to dismiss a case if they believe another jurisdiction is more appropriate for
resolving the dispute.

4)Foreign Judgments:

Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments are crucial for maintaining international legal
cooperation. The Indian Code of Civil Procedure lays down the conditions under which foreign
judgments can be recognized and enforced in India.

5)Arbitration and Choice of Forum:

Arbitration has gained prominence as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism in
international commercial matters. The Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, provides the
framework for both domestic and international arbitrations in India.

6)Family Law:

Private International Law also plays a role in family matters involving cross-border elements,
such as marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance. The principles of “domicile” and
“habitual residence” are used to determine the appropriate jurisdiction and applicable law.

7)Hague Conventions:

India is a signatory to several Hague Conventions that deal with issues like child abduction,
intercountry adoption, and service of process abroad. These conventions provide a framework
for cooperation among member states in resolving specific cross-border legal matters.

8)Recent Developments:

Recent years have seen an increased focus on cross-border insolvency issues. The enactment
of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, addresses the challenges posed by multinational
corporate insolvency cases.

9)Challenges and Future Outlook:

Private International Law in India faces challenges related to conflicts between traditional legal
principles and modern global realities. As technology and international trade continue to evolve,
adapting legal frameworks to address emerging issues will be paramount.


Private International Law is an indispensable field that ensures legal harmonization and
cooperation among nations. In India, its principles guide courts and legal professionals in
resolving complex cross-border disputes, ensuring justice is served in an increasingly
interconnected world. Understanding the foundations and nuances of this area is crucial for
anyone engaged in international legal matters within or involving India.

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