2015 Foreign Law Legislation

10/15/2015

Scales of JusticeTwenty states have introduced legislation in 2015 to restrict the use of foreign law in state courts, and Mississippi has enacted legislation on the topic in 2015.  Currently eight states have laws prohibiting the use of foreign laws in state courts.  For more information on those laws, please see NCSL’s resources on “Laws Regarding the Use of Foreign Law in State Courts.

 

 

 

 

2015 Legislation

Jurisdiction

Bill

Summary

Arkansas

HB 1474

Protects the rights and privileges granted under the United States constitution and the Arkansas constitution; declares American laws for American courts.

Arkansas

SB 229

Protects the rights and privileges granted under the United States constitution and the Arkansas constitution; declares American laws for American courts.

Delaware SB 100 The Act is "modeled after American Laws for American Courts legislation that has passed in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas, South Dakota, Alabama, and North Carolina."

Georgia

HB 171

Relates to general provisions relating to venue; provides for a cross reference; provides for related matters; provides for an effective date and applicability; repeals conflicting laws.

Iowa

HB 135

Relates to the application of foreign laws; specifies that it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of foreign law will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the state of Iowa, including but not limited to due process; freedom of religion, speech, or press; any right of privacy or marriage embodied in the Constitution of the sState of Iowa.

Indiana

SB 38

Provides that a court may not apply, enforce, or grant comity, res judicata, claim preclusion, or issue preclusion to a foreign law, ruling, or judgment if doing so would violate the rights guaranteed by the United States or state Constitution; provides that a provision in a contract that provides for the choice of foreign laws in its interpretation is void and unenforceable; provides that a court may not require any court to adjudicate ecclesiastical matters.

Kentucky

HB 29

Establishes legislative intent that the rights of an individual afforded under the Constitutions of the Commonwealth and the United States take precedence over the application of any foreign law in any judicial or quasi judicial proceeding; strictly construes waivers of constitutional rights; provides exceptions for corporate entities; prohibits choice of venue outside of the Commonwealth.

Maine

HB 224

This bill is based on Tennessee Public Acts, 2010, Public Chapter Number 983. The bill addresses the application of foreign law in this State….

Minnesota

SB 1264

Prohibits application of foreign law in certain cases.

Mississippi

HB 177 - ENACTED 3/23/2015

Addresses the application of foreign laws in judicial proceedings in the state; provides legislative findings; defines certain terms; prohibits the use and enforcement of foreign laws under certain circumstances; provides for applicability in certain circumstances.

Mississippi

HB 493

Addresses the application of foreign laws; defines foreign law; provides legislative findings; prohibits the enforcement of foreign laws under certain circumstances; provides for applicability to certain persons.

Mississippi

HB 1216

Defines foreign law; provides legislative findings; prohibits the enforcement of foreign laws under certain circumstances; provides for applicability to certain persons.

Mississippi

HB 1218

Relates to the application of foreign laws in judicial proceedings in this state; provides legislative findings; defines certain terms; prohibits the use and enforcement of foreign laws under certain circumstances; provides for applicability in certain circumstances.

Mississippi

SB 2116

Addresses the application of foreign laws in judicial proceedings in this state; provides legislative findings; defines certain terms; prohibits the use and enforcement of foreign laws under certain circumstances; provides for applicability in certain circumstances.

Mississippi

SB 2702

Protects rights and privileges granted under the United States Constitution and the Mississippi Constitution of 1890; addresses the application of foreign laws in judicial proceedings in this state; provides legislative findings; defines certain terms; prohibits the use and enforcement of foreign laws under certain circumstances; provides for applicability in certain circumstances.

Montana

SB 199

Prohibits the application of foreign law in state courts; relates to courts.

New Hampshire

HB 461

Prohibits the application of foreign Laws in the courts of this state

Ohio HB 339 Prohibits courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators from applying foreign law to the detriment of constitutional rights under the United States and Ohio Constitutions; relates to equal protection of the laws, due process of law, freedom of religion; freedom of speech, freedom of the press and any right of privacy or marriage; provides that a ruling or decision made by a court, administrative agency, or arbitrator in violation of this section is void and unenforceable.

Oregon

SB 176

Prohibits courts from applying Sharia law.

Pennsylvania HB 1288 Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions; provides for definitions; in bases of jurisdiction and interstate and international procedure; prohibits the application of foreign law which would impair constitutional rights.

South Carolina

HB 3521

Prevents a court or other enforcement authority from enforcing foreign law including, but not limited to, Sharia law in this state from a forum outside of the United States or its territories under certain circumstances.

South Carolina

SB 101

Prevents a court or other enforcement authority from enforcing foreign law in this state from a forum outside of the United States or its territories under certain circumstances.

Texas

HB 562

Relates to the application of foreign laws and foreign forum selection in a proceeding involving marriage, a suit for dissolution of a marriage, or a suit affecting the parent child relationship in this state.

Texas

HB 670

Relates to the application of foreign laws and foreign forum selection in this state.

Texas

HB 828

Relates to the application of foreign and international Laws and doctrines in this state; requires a court of this state to uphold and apply certain laws, including the doctrine requiring courts to refrain from involvement in religious doctrinal interpretation or application.

Texas

HB 899

Relates to the application of foreign laws and foreign forum selection in certain family law proceedings.

Texas HB 3943 Relates to the application of foreign Laws and foreign forum selection in a proceeding involving marriage, a suit for dissolution of a marriage, or a suit affecting the parent child relationship in this state.

Texas

SB 531

Relates to the application of foreign Laws and foreign forum selection in a proceeding involving marriage, a suit for dissolution of a marriage, or a suit affecting the parent child relationship in this state.

Texas SB 1090 Relates to the application of foreign Laws and foreign forum selection in a proceeding involving marriage, a suit for dissolution of a marriage, or a suit affecting the parent child relationship in this state.

Virginia

SB 1318

Relates to application of foreign law in Virginia courts; relates to domestic relations; provides that if a court, administrative agency, arbitrator, mediator, or other adjudicative or enforcement authority in a domestic relations matter bases its ruling or decision on the application of foreign law, and such ruling or decision violates an individual's fundamental constitutional rights, then such decision is void as violative of the public policy of the Commonwealth.

Washington

HB 1246

Protects citizens from the application of foreign laws that would result in a violation of a constitutional right.

Washington

SB 5192

Protects citizens from foreign laws, codes, or systems.

West Virginia

HB 2956

Preserves the rights of individuals guaranteed by the West Virginia Constitution and the United States Constitution when deciding the comity of a legal decision in a foreign country.

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Jon Griffin covers constitutional and civil rights issues for NCSL.  You may contact him by email him at jonathan.griffin@ncsl.org.