Courtesy; complaisance; respect; a willingness to grant a privilege, not as a matter of right but out of deference and good will. Comity of nations. The most appropriate phrase to express the true foundation and extent of the obligation of the laws of one nation within the territories of another. It is derived altogether from the voluntary consent of the latter: and it is inadmisible when it is contrary to its known policy, or prejudicial to its interests. In the silence of any positive rule affirming or denying or restraining the operation of foreign laws, courts of justice presume the tacit adoption of them by their own government, unless repugnant to its policy, or prejudicial to its interests. It is not the comity of the courts, but the comity of the nation, which is administered and ascertained in the same way, and guided by the same reasoning, by which all other principles of the municipal law are ascertained and guided. Story. Confl. Laws, I 88. The comity of nations (comitas gentium) is that body of rules which states observe towards one another from courtesy or mutual convenience, although they do not form part of international law. Holtz. Bnc. s. v. Hilton v. Guyot 159 TJ. S. 113. 16 Sup. Ct 139, 40 I Ed. 95: Fisher v. Fielding, 67 Conn. 91. 34 Atl. 714, 32 I R. A. 236, 52 Am. St. Rep. 270; People v. Martin, 175 N. Y. 815, 67 N. E. 589, 96 Am. St Rep. 628. Judicial comity. The principle in accordance with which the courts of one state or jurisdiction will give effect to the laws and judicial decisions of another, not as a matter of obligation, but out of deference and respect.
Law Dictionary – Alternative Legal Definition
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.