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This phrase is used to signify that the laws of different countries, or states on the subject-matter to be decided, are in opposition to each other; or that certain laws of the same country are contradictory. When this happens to be the case, it becomes necessary to decide which law is to be obeyed. This subject has occupied the attention and talents of some of the most learned jurists, and their labors are comprised in many volumes. A few general rules have been adopted on this subject, which will here be noticed. Every nation possesses an exclusive sovereignty and jurisdiction within its own territory. The laws of every state, therefore, affect and bind directly all property, whether real or personal, within its territory; and all persons who are resident within it, whether citizens or aliens, natives or foreigners; and also all contracts made, and acts done within it. It is proper, however, to observe, that ambassadors and other public ministers, while in the territory of the state to, which they are delegates, are exempt from the local jurisdiction. And the persons composing a foreign army, or fleet, marching through, or stationed in the territory of another state, with whom ...

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