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Uniform Interstate Enforcement of Vested Rights, 27 Yale Law Journal 656 (1918)


Professor Beale divides current doctrine on the conflict of laws into three classes, which necessarily grade into one another: statutory, international, and territorial. Of the last named he says that it "asserts that no law can exist as such except the law of the land; but that it is a principle of every civilized law that vested rights shall be protected, and therefore that in each country it is sought to find out what rights have arisen anywhere, and to recognize them, applying in all else the law of the land to every question." And treating of the historical development of this theory he says: "Instead of the Dutch theory of comity, the common law has worked out indigenously a theory of vested rights, which serves the same purpose, that is, the desire to reach a just result, and is not subject to the objections which can be urged against the doctrine of comity. Story accepted and developed this theory, which from his time has been the accepted theory in the English and American courts." And on another page: "The English and American judges have most consistently followed this theory." I do not attempt to criticise Professor Beale's classification or definitions, but do dispute his statement that the American courts have adopted the territorial theory of the conflict of laws, instead of the Dutch theory of comity.

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