2017 Legislation Regarding the Application of Foreign Law by State Courts

8/17/2017

Gavel and BookThere are eleven states—Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington—that prohibit the use of foreign law in their state courts.

In 2017, seventeen states have legislation on the subject. The table below lists the legislation. Enacted legislation is in bold. 

 

2017 Proposed Legislation Prohibiting Use of Foreign Law in State Courts

STATE

BILL NUMBER

SUMMARY

Arkansas

HB 1041

Protects the rights and privileges granted under the Arkansas constitution and the U.S. Constitution. Declares American laws for American courts.

Colorado SB 277 Concerns the application of foreign laws in Colorado courts.

Connecticut

HB 5547

Concerns the application of foreign law in the state. Protects Connecticut citizens from the application of foreign law.

Delaware SB 89 Models after American Laws for American Courts legislation that has passed in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arizona, Kansas, South Dakota, Alabama, and North Carolina; relates to the Declaration of Independence announcing the formation of a new country that would no longer find itself in the clutches of a foreign power; specifies that for more than two centuries, hundreds of thousands of men and women have given their lives to protect America's sovereignty and freedom.
Idaho HB 94

Adds to existing law to prohibit the application of in Idaho courts in certain instances.

Indiana

SB 16

Relates to application of foreign law. 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 fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the state of Indiana. Relates to provisions in contracts or agreements that provide for the choice of foreign laws.

Indiana

SB 56

Relates to application of foreign law. 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 fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the state of Indiana. Relates to provisions in contracts or agreements that provide for the choice of foreign laws in interpretation.

Iowa HB 223

Relates to the application of foreign laws and constitutional rights; includes effective date provisions.

Kentucky

HB 40

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. Defines specific terms. Construes waivers of constitutional rights. Provides exceptions for corporate entities. Prohibits choice of venue outside of the commonwealth or United States to preserve the constitutional rights of the person against whom enforcement is sought.

Kentucky

HB 131

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. Defines specific terms. Strictly construes waivers of constitutional rights. Provides exceptions for corporate entities.

Maine HB 631

Addresses the application of foreign law in this State with the goal of protecting American citizens' constitutional rights when foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines are applied in judicial and administrative tribunals. 

Michigan HB 4499 Prohibits the application of foreign Laws through Restriction of Application of Foreign Laws Act.

Missouri

HB 299

Specifies how courts may rule in contractual disputes involving the law of other countries.

Montana

SB 97

Prohibits the application of foreign law in state courts. Relates to courts. Relates to federal government. Relates to state government.

North Dakota HB 1425 Protects the rights and privileges granted under the United States Constitution.

Oregon

SB 479

Prohibits courts from applying Sharia law.

South Carolina

HB 3188

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.

South Carolina SB 650

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.

West Virginia HB 2769 Relates to the preservation of rights guaranteed by the West Virginia Constitution and the United States Constitution when deciding the comity of a legal decision in a foreign country.
Wisconsin AB 401 Prohibits a court or other adjudicative authority from applying, enforcing, or granting comity, claim preclusion, or issue preclusion to a foreign country's law, legal rule, legal code, or legal or social system if doing so would violate the fundamental civil rights of the party against whom the foreign law, ruling, or judgment is being applied or enforced. 
Wisconsin SB 368 Relates to application of foreign law.

 

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