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Related to comity: comity of nations


Courtesy; respect; a disposition to perform some official act out of goodwill and tradition rather than obligation or law. The acceptance or Adoption of decisions or laws by a court of another jurisdiction, either foreign or domestic, based on public policy rather than legal mandate.

In comity, an act is performed to promote uniformity, limit litigation, and, most important, to show courtesy and respect for other court decisions. It is not to be confused with full faith and credit, the constitutional provision that various states within the United States must recognize the laws, acts, and decisions of sister states.

Comity of nations is a recognition of fundamental legal concepts that nations share. It stems from mutual convenience as well as respect and is essential to the success of international relations. This body of rules does not form part of International Law; however, it is important for public policy reasons.

Judicial comity is the granting of reciprocity to decisions or laws by one state or jurisdiction to another. Since it is based upon respect and deference rather than strict legal principles, it does not require that any state or jurisdiction adopt a law or decision by another state or jurisdiction that is in contradiction, or repugnant, to its own law.

Comity of states is the voluntary acceptance by courts of one state of the decision of a sister state on a similar issue or question.


n. when one court defers to the jurisdiction of another in a case in which both would have the right to handle the case. Usually this is applied to a federal court allowing a state court to try a criminal case (either exclusively or first) in which both a state and federal crime has apparently been committed. Murder which also violates civil rights, kidnapping across state borders, murder of a federal official, fraud involving violations of both federal and state laws are examples of cases to which comity may apply.


noun accommodation, accord, affability, agreeableness, amenity, amiability, amity, benevolence, camaraderie, civility, compliance, concord, consideration, cordiality, courtesy, courtly politeeess, deference, disposition to please, fellow feeling, friendliness, general reciprocity, gentility, good will, graciousness, harmony, mansuetude, mutual consideration, mutual respect, neighborliness, obligingness, politeness, prévenance, reciprocity, respect, respectfulness
Associated concepts: comity between courts, comity in connlict of laws, comity of nations, comity of states

COMITY. Courtesy; a disposition to accommodate.
     2. Courts of justice in one state will, out of comity, enforce the laws of another state, when by such enforcement they will not violate their laws or inflict. an injury on some one of their own citizens; as, for example, the discharge of a debtor under the insolvent laws of one state, will be respected in another state, where there is a reciprocity in this respect.
     3. It is a general rule that the municipal laws of a country do not extend beyond its limits, and cannot be enforced in another, except on the principle of comity. But when those laws clash and interfere with the rights of citizens, or the laws of the countries where the parties to the contract seek to enforce it, as one or the other must give way, those prevailing where the relief is sought must have the preference. 2 Mart. Lo. Rep. N. S. 93; S. C. 2 Harr. Cond. Lo. Rep. 606, 609; 2 B. & C. 448, 471; 6 Binn. 353; 5 Cranch, 299; 2 Mass. 84; 6 Mass. 358; 7 Mart. Lo. R. 318. See Conflict of Laws; Lex loci contractus.

References in periodicals archive ?
observation as not undermining the significance of comity but as
suggesting 'that general concerns about comity will not always lead
separation of powers and international comity concerns motivating
international context, international comity concerns will also persist.
It is to attribute the absence of comity talk from cases involving states' duties to the federal government to the fact that the federal government is a superior sovereign while the states are subordinates, and to the notion that comity is--at least in the familiar, international law paradigm--a framework for the relationships among political equals.
Comity Grove, the name's promise of good will and harmony was in contrast to the ancient history of the area, where rebel soldiers had once snuck weapons and ammunition through the wooded trail of Quarterpath Road two miles away.
The Court then reviews the dismissal based on international comity.
Despite its precise analysis of the District Court's mishandling of international comity concerns, the Ninth Circuit erred in its own conclusion concerning the international comity issue.
36) The political question doctrine, act of state doctrine, international comity, and the foreign affairs doctrine have been used by defendants in ATS litigation to claim that the litigation interferes with the sovereign rights of a foreign government, requiring the case to be dismissed.
Congress Designed the Tax Injunction Act to Address Federalism and Comity Concerns 2.
This observation, coupled with New Jersey's long-standing and dominant public-policy interest in environmental remediation within its borders, gives rise to special equities sufficient to trump general principles of comity and favors nonapplication of the first-filed rule in environmental insurance coverage cases.
For all these reasons, international comity would seem to be too vague, incoherent, illusory, and ephemeral to serve as a foundation for U.