Friday, June 1, 2012

Senate votes to prevent use of foreign law in Oklahoma courts

The Senate approved a proposal that would prevent the use of foreign law in Oklahoma courts. The conference committee report for Senate Bill 671 states that courts shall not enforce or utilize foreign law if doing so would provide a defense or justification for a crime.
Sen. Dan Newberry, author of the measure, said those who value and wish to protect our system of law should be pleased by the bill’s passage.
“Our legal code is much more than just a series of rules and procedures – it is the expression of our unifying principles,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “Our laws reflect our values and ideals, and those who embrace and wish to protect those values should be pleased by this bill’s passage. It’s simple - either you wish to see our law used to determine court rulings, or you think it’s appropriate for foreign law to excuse or justify crime in our state.”
Senate Bill 671 will now advance to the House for consideration.
"Foreign law" is defined as any law, rule, code or legal system of a jurisdiction outside of the states or territories of the United States of America, but does not include any law, rule, code or legal system of federally recognized Indian tribes.
“The Constitution provides clear guarantees to those who enter our courts, and this law will ensure those guarantees will never be broken by the whim of a judge who is influenced by foreign law,” Newberry said. “By approving this measure, we are protecting both our core principles and the rule of law.”

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