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8 Public Policy

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: 18 May 2022

Subject(s):
Foreign relations law — Comity — Public policy

Comity is no less inappropriate when it is used as an equivalent to or an explanation of public policy in connection with foreign relations. If one adopts the standard of public policy it must also be said at the outset that English courts cannot and should not reject a legal consequence on the sole ground that it might embarrass the Executive in its foreign relations, nor can or should the courts give effect to a proposition merely because the Executive approves of it or would be protected from embarrassment. Public policy is at the bottom of the law relating to the use in English proceedings of documents in which a foreign State has an interest. It is public policy that determines the nature and extent of the privilege to which such documents are entitled.

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