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n. pl. Comities. Latin. Kindness. Mildness and suavity of manners; courtesy between equals; friendly civility; as, comity of manners; the comity of States. Comity of nations (International Law), the courtesy by which nations recognize within their own territory, or in their courts, the peculiar institutions of another nation or the rights and privileges acquired by its citizens in their own land. The deference shown to the interests of a foreign forum. The practice or courtesy existing between countries whereby the laws and institutions of each are recognized and respected. Comity is to be distinguished from international law, because international law is a binding obligation and comity is not. By some authorities private international law rests on this comity, but the better opinion is that it is part of the common law of the land, and hence is obligatory as law.


Syn. - Civility; good breeding; courtesy; good will. The deferral of jurisdiction between courts. This decision is based on judicial common sense. Comity is also the process by which American courts honor the decisions of foreign courts of another country. 'Comity,' in the legal sense, is neither a matter of absolute obligation, on the one ...

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