Comity of Nations


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Comity of Nations

 

(Latin, comitas gentium), a set of rules of conduct for states that have international relations—for example, the granting of immunity from customs search and customs duties to the person and personal luggage of a diplomatic agent should there be no agreement on that subject and the extension by a state to a diplomatic agent of wider privileges and immunities than are necessary for his unimpeded passage through the state. Such rules of conduct are applied on the basis of reciprocity or at the desire of one of the states. They are not legally binding and in this respect differ from the rules of international law. At the same time, failure to observe them is often regarded as an unfriendly act, though no international legal responsibility can thereby be incurred, and such an act cannot serve as a reason for rétorsion de droit or the presentation of any kind of claim.

Historically the comity of nations served as the basis for the framing of rules of international law. In ancient and even in medieval times the accordance of diplomatic privileges and immunities was an expression of such comity, and in the 17th and 18th centuries the ceremonial rules applying to diplomatic representatives were an important part of international law. (Today these rules are an essential element in the comity of nations.) The rules of the comity of nations were applied also in international civil relations. In the 17th and 18th centuries the jurists of a number of countries (for example, 17th-century Dutch jurists) considered that the application of foreign law was based on this comity.

The difference between the rules of the comity of nations and the norms of international law is by no means always observed in practice. Thus, in Anglo-American legal procedure the concept of the comity of nations is used in the sense of “contacts between nations,” “mutual regard,” and “goodwill.” British and American courts often refer to the comity of nations in cases in which it would be more correct to use the term “international law.” For example, in court decisions it is stated that the legal immunity of a head of state or of a diplomatic agent is derived from the comity of nations.

I. P. BLISHCHENKO and V. I. MENZHINSKII

References in periodicals archive ?
New Delhi [India], Oct 12 ( ANI ): After India was elected to the United Nations' top human rights body on Friday, India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin said that the achievement is a reflection of India's position in the comity of nation.
PESHAWAR -- Speaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani Wednesday said that progress in field education is vital to achieve a respectable position among comity of nations.
ISLAMABAD -- Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaiser says the government wants to formulate a free and balanced foreign policy that fulfills the objective to develop relations with comity of nations on basis of equality.
Speaking in Afkar-e-Taza festival in Lahore on Sunday, he said PTI government is working to raise the positive image of Pakistan in the comity of nations. The Minister said the tradition of festivals in Punjab will be revived as it is identity of the province.
Yaum-e-Takbeer, the celebration of Pakistan's atomic explosions in 1998, was observed the other day across the country with a vow to make Pakistan a stronger and better country, militarily and economically, among the comity of nations. The Day is celebrated every year on May 28th to mark the conduction of nuclear tests in '98, making Pakistan 7th nuclear state of the world and first Islamic state to have a nuclear arsenal.
It added that the list posted a sad commentary on the country's avowed war against corruption, thereby exposing the nation to ridicule in the comity of nations.
The speakers said that as a result of prudent policies and vision of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the country was made as atomic power, adding this historic decision to carry out nuclear tests paved a way towards bright future and gave a sense of pride to whole nation to live with dignity among the comity of nations. They also hailed efforts of the PML-N-led government for eradicating poverty, terrorism and extremism from society, saying the country had been steering on path of progress and there was an investment friendly environment as a result of wise economic policies of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He also denied the impression being given by the PPP government that failing to reopen the NATO supply routes, would leave the country facing isolation in the comity of nations. ( ANI )
PESHAWAR -- Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaisar said government wanted to formulate a foreign policy that should be balanced, free and fulfill the objective to develop relations with comity of nations on basis of equality.
HARI PUR -- Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaisar has said that government wants to formulate a foreign policy that will fulfill the objective to develop relations with comity of nations on basis of equality.
The provincial minister said Pakistan did not face any political isolation on international front, rather the country has achieved new levels of diplomatic success and dignity in the comity of nations. The minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan received a warm welcome wherever he visited.