Hong Kong being a maritime city and, since the last 25 years or about, a financial hub in Asia, cross-border disputes are a norm in her courts. The international dimensions have called on the Hong Kong Courts to consider a wider range of questions specific to transnational litigations. Should a party be restrained from pursuing an overseas legal action? Should foreign orders and judgments be given effect? Should the Courts act in aid of foreign proceedings? In judicial considerations of these and similar questions stemming from a wide spectrum of cross-border disputes, references to comity abound.
But what does the concept mean? Writing extra-judicially, Lawrence Collins J (as he then was) considered the employment of the concept of comity in the English and American case law and called for further efforts to be made to obtain a better understanding of the subject - “the vast amount of material cries out for some synthesis.” (Lawrence Collins, “Comity in Modern Private International Law” in Fawcett J.J. (ed.), Reform and Development of Private International Law (Oxford University Press, 2002), p.110)
The present Course looks at Hong Kong cases (and some of the leading English cases) in which the concept of comity has been invoked, and explores what the concept entails and how it informs judicial determinations in commercial litigations.