The Insolubility of Renvoi and its Consequences

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This article shows that the problem of renvoi is insoluble in the sense that, as a logical construct, no solution to renvoi can achieve the goals for which it was created. The article commences by defining the nature of the problem and considering the various solutions to renvoi that have been proposed. It then considers the connection between renvoi and the policy goals that underlie choice of law rules, and concludes that renvoi is necessary in those areas of law where especial importance is given to the policy of uniformity. The logical consequences of renvoi are then analysed, and it is shown that any solution to renvoi will either fail to achieve uniformity, or will select an applicable law on meaningless grounds. In either case, renvoi fails to give any effect to the policies that it was created to serve. The article concludes by considering the consequences of insolubility, and sketches out a path towards a set of rules that give greater effect to the policies underlying renvoi, and choice of law more broadly.
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