Comity

Comity

In law, comity specifically refers to legal reciprocity—the principle that one jurisdiction will extend certain courtesies to other nations (or other jurisdictions within the same nation), particularly by recognizing the validity and effect of their executive, legislative, and judicial acts. The term refers to the idea that courts should not act in a way that demeans the jurisdiction, laws, or judicial decisions of another jurisdiction. Part of the presumption of comity is that other jurisdictions will reciprocate the courtesy shown to them. Many statutes relating to the enforcement of foreign judgments require that the judgments of a particular jurisdiction will be recognized and enforced by a forum only to the extent that the other jurisdiction would recognize and enforce the judgments rendered by that forum. See reciprocity (international relations).

In the law of the United States, comity may refer to the Privileges and Immunities Clause (sometimes called the Comity Clause) in Article Four of the United States Constitution. This clause provides that "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States."

In the context of professional licensure, comity refers to one jurisdiction granting credit for experience earned and exams passed in a different jurisdiction.[1]

But judicially, comity should not be misinterpreted as implying that all laws are of universal jurisdiction. In many countries, comity is effective only to the extent that foreign laws or judgments do not directly conflict with the foreign country's public policy: for example, the United States will not enforce foreign judgments (such as defamation judgments) where the foreign court did not provide as much protection as the free speech protections in the United States (see SPEECH Act of 2010).

History

The principle of legal comity first arose through the work of a 17th-century Dutch jurist, Ulrich Huber. It was subsequently refined by the American judge Joseph Story.

See also

References

  1. ^ "NSPE Moves Forward With International Partnerships." National Society of Professional Engineers. November 2002. [1]

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Synonyms:

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  • comity — co·mi·ty / kä mə tē, kō / n 1: comity of nations 2: the informal and voluntary recognition by courts of one jurisdiction of the laws and judicial decisions of another – called also judicial comity; compare choice of law …   Law dictionary

  • Comity — Com i*ty, n.; pl. {Comities}. [L. comitas, fr. comis courteous, kind.] Mildness and suavity of manners; courtesy between equals; friendly civility; as, comity of manners; the comity of States. [1913 Webster] {Comity of nations} (International… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • comity — pronounced kom i ti, means ‘considerate behaviour towards others’. It has a special meaning in international law, occurring often in the semi fixed expression comity of nations (or peoples, etc.), of ‘the mutual recognition by nations of the laws …   Modern English usage

  • comity — early 15c., association, from Fr. comité, from L. comitas courtesy, kindness, affability, from comis courteous, friendly, kind, of uncertain origin. Meaning courtesy in English is from 1540s. Phrase comity of nations attested from 1862: The… …   Etymology dictionary

  • comity — ► NOUN (pl. comities) 1) an association of nations for their mutual benefit. 2) (also comity of nations) the mutual recognition by nations of the laws and customs of others. 3) formal polite and considerate behaviour towards others. ORIGIN Latin… …   English terms dictionary

  • comity — [käm′ə tē] n. pl. comities [ME comite, association < L comitas < comis, polite, kind; earlier cosmis, prob. < co (see COM ), with + * smi s < IE base * smei , to SMILE] 1. courteous behavior; politeness; civility 2. COMITY OF NATIONS… …   English World dictionary

  • comity — amity, goodwill, *friendship Analogous words: *association, society: companionship, comradeship (see base words at ASSOCIATE): concord, accord, *harmony …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • comity — /komatiy/ Courtesy; complaisance; respect; a willingness to grant a privilege, not as a matter of right, but out of deference and good will. Recognition that one sovereignty allows within its territory to the legislative, executive, or judicial… …   Black's law dictionary

  • comity — /komatiy/ Courtesy; complaisance; respect; a willingness to grant a privilege, not as a matter of right, but out of deference and good will. Recognition that one sovereignty allows within its territory to the legislative, executive, or judicial… …   Black's law dictionary

  • comity — noun (plural ties) Etymology: Latin comitat , comitas, from comis courteous, probably from Old Latin cosmis, from com + smis (akin to Sanskrit smayate he smiles) more at smile Date: 1543 1. a …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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