foreign law

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For the purposes of private international law, any legal system other than that of England. A foreign legal system may be the system of a foreign state (one recognized by public international law) or of a law district. Thus the law of Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and Isle of Man and the law of each of the American or Australian states or Canadian provinces is a separate foreign law. When an element of foreign law arises in an English court, it is usually treated as a question of fact, which must be proved (usually by expert evidence) in each case. The English courts retain an overriding power to refuse to enforce (or even to recognize) provisions of foreign law that are against English public policy, foreign penal or revenue laws, or laws creating discriminatory disabilities or status. See also Community law.

Subjects: Law.

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