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Evasion of the law

Evasion of the law is a principle of private international law sometimes adopted in common law jurisdictions. It usually mean the manipulation of connecting factors between the lex fori and the lex loci so that a particular legal result may be arrived at thus evading the law of the forum. A common example was divorce in parts of the world that had no divorce law. The spouse wishing a divorce would go to a jurisdiction where divorces were allowed and would establish residence there. She or he would then petition the local court and a divorce would be granted. Sometimes these divorces would be recognized in other countries, sometimes not.

In French private international law (under the civil law system) a similar concept is known as fraude  la loi. One very famous case in civil law jurisprudence is known as the Princess Bauffremont affair decided by the Cour de cassation in 1878 [Civ. 18 mars 1878, S.78.1.193 (note Labb)]. The princess obtained citizenship in Germany for the purpose of obtaining a divorce there and then remarried returning to France and attempted to re-establish herself in France. The validity of her remarriage was called into question as divorce was not recognized in France, her remarriage was declared null as a fraude  la loi. it was also declared null in Belgium, but for other legal reasons, i.e. she had no authority as she was married to a French citizen.



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