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7 Comity

From: Foreign Affairs in English Courts

F. A. Mann

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 27 January 2022

Subject(s):
Conflict of laws — Forum non conveniens — New York Convention on Enforcement of Judgments — Comity — Act of state — Sovereignty — Private international law — Lis alibi pendens

Comity is one of the most ambiguous and multifaceted conceptions in the law in general and in the realm of international affairs in particular. It may denote no more than that courtoisie international, that courtesy which ships observe when they salute each other or which is usual among diplomats or even judges. At the opposite extreme it may be a synonym for public international law. Or it may mean, not a rule of law at all, but a standard to be respected in the course of exercising judicial or administrative discretion. Or it may be the equivalent of private international law (or the conflict of laws) or at least indicate the policy underlying particular rules or what is more generally known as public policy. Or it may be used to justify the existence of the conflict of laws or the origin of its sources or the public policy pursued by it. In most cases the meaning of comity is coextensive with public international law.

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