Missouri House OKs bill limiting use of foreign law

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 | 4:01 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers have endorsed legislation designed to limit the use of international law in state courts.

House members approved the bill 99-53 on Tuesday. It needs another vote in the House before moving to the Senate.

Under the legislation, court and arbitration decisions would be void if they're based on a foreign legal code that does not offer the same protections as the Missouri and U.S. constitutions.

Sponsoring House member Paul Curtman, a Republican from Pacific, said a law developed in another country should not be used as a basis to restrict the constitutional rights of people in Missouri. But Democratic critics say the legislation could make it harder for Missouri businesses to enter contracts with firms from other countries.

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