Committee OKs bill banning foreign laws

March 24, 2011 

JUNEAU -- A state House committee has approved a bill banning the use of foreign law in state courts.

The measure, proposed by Republican Rep. Carl Gatto of Palmer, instructs courts not to uphold any foreign laws if doing so would strip a person of their constitutional rights.

Gatto says the bill would curb courts from recognizing Sharia, an Islamic law code incorporated into the legal systems of some countries.

Anchorage Democrat Max Gruenberg objected to the bill's passage during Thursday's House State Affairs Committee hearing, saying the bill could have unintended legal consequences.

Business agreements were exempted from the bill after committee members expressed concerns that the measure could infringe on international commerce.

House Bill 88 will be considered by the House Judiciary Committee next Wednesday.

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