The United States, as a sovereign body, does not have to obey or even recognize the authority of other country’s laws. However, it is common practice, globally, for judicial systems to “take notice” of the laws of other countries if the law is relevant to the particular case at hand. In Idaho, this concept is governed under Idaho Civil Rule 44.
Idaho Civil Rule 44 says that Idaho courts must take judicial notice as provided by law. This means that the Rules require that Idaho courts look at other laws in the US and use those as guidance for how they should treat foreign laws. Rule 44 also states that Rule 201 of the Idaho Rules of Evidence provides guidance for jury instructions regarding foreign laws. Lastly, Rule 44 mandates that if a party wants an Idaho court to take judicial notice of a foreign law, that party must submit a request to the Court. Accompanying this request, there must be a memorandum that cites the foreign law submitted at least 14 days prior to trial or a hearing. If such a memorandum is not provided, then the Court may deny the request to take notice of the foreign law. If the request and the memorandum have been properly submitted, then Rule 44 also allows the other party to file a reply within 7 days following service of the memorandum.
Idaho Civil Rule 44: Judicial Notice of Facts and Foreign Law
(a) In general. The court must take judicial notice as provided by law.
(b) Adjudicative fact.
When judicial notice is taken of an adjudicative fact, the court must instruct the jury as provided in Rule 201, Idaho Rules of Evidence.
(c) Foreign law.
(1) Notice. If either party to an action intends to request the court to take judicial notice of the statutes or laws of a foreign state, a memorandum citing the foreign law must be submitted to the court and opposing counsel at least 14 days prior to trial or hearing. The court may deny the request for failure to submit a memorandum.
(2) Objection. Opposing counsel may file a reply within 7 days following service of the moving party’s memorandum
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