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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 ?
He said, Pakistan today is facing a number of serious challenges and it is time to renew pledge that no effort will be spared to make Pakistan a great force and transform it in accordance with the ideas of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal for achieving a respectable status for the country in the comity of nations.
He said increased economic activities and visits of foreign dignitaries to Pakistan are clear indicators of the country's enhanced stature in the comity of nations.
It is so sad that despite being rich in various natural resources, the African countries remain the poorest among the comity of nations.
Rai Manzoor Nasir of the brilliant student said that the govt and people were proud of such talented kid of Pakistan who raised heads of Pakistani nation in the comity of nations with pride and honour by qualify such difficult exam in such minor age.
He also denied the impression being given by the PPP government that failing to reopen the NATO supply routes, would leave the country facing isolation in the comity of nations.
He said that the message disseminated by the Prime Minister was that now we will have to take the country forward to earn its rightful place in the comity of nations and make rapid progress.
Only those nations excel in the comity of nations which know how to tap educated manpower, he added.
Popularity of a language rises or falls with a country's place in comity of nations.
In his address to the national team members, the president said their landmark achievements in the sport had earned Afghanistan a good name in the comity of nations.
Shahbaz noted that history corroborates the fact that the countries that made tough decisions turned out to be victorious and got a well-deserved place in the comity of nations.
Rich tributes will be paid to the team of the nuclear scientists who raised Pakistans strategic status in the comity of nations and signified the principle of self-reliance.
Imran Hameed Shiekh urged Muslims to follow the teachings of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) to achieve a respectable position among comity of nations.