Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hilton v. Guyot case brief summary

Hilton v. Guyot case brief summary (1895, US)
159 U.S. 113, 16 S.Ct. 139, 40 L.Ed. 95

Summary: A case decided by the United States Supreme Court, in which the courtdescribed the factors to be used when considering the application of comity.  No law has any effect beyond the limits of the sovereignty from which its authority is derived. The extent to which one nation shall be allowed to operate within the dominion of another nation, depends upon the "comity of nations."

"Comity" - neither a matter of absolute obligation, nor of mere courtesy and good will. It is a recognition which one nation allows within its territory to the legislative, executive or judicial acts of another nation, having due regard both to international duty and convenience, and to the rights of its own citizens or other persons who are under the protection of its laws.

"The comity thus extended to other nations is no impeachment of sovereignty. It is the voluntary act of the nation by which it is offered, and is inadmissible when contrary to its policy, or prejudicial to its interests. But it contributes so largely to promote justice between individuals, and to produce a friendly intercourse between the sovereignty to which they belong, that courts of justice have continually acted upon it, as a part of the voluntary law of nations."

"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 municipal law are ascertained and guided."


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