Foreign Law Ascertainment Act, 1861

Superior Courts within Her Majesty's dominions may remit a case, with queries, to a court of any foreign state with which Her Majesty may have made a convention for that purpose, for ascertaining the law of such state as to the facts in question.

1. If, in any action depending in any of the Superior Courts within Her Majesty's dominions, it shall be the opinion of such court that it is necessary or expedient, for the disposal of such act on, to ascertain the law applicable to the facts of the case as administered in any foreign state or country with the Government of which Her Majesty shall have entered into such convention as aforesaid, it shall be competent to the court in which such action may depend to direct a case to be prepared setting forth the facts as these may be ascertained by verdict of jury or other mode competent, or as may be agreed upon by the parties, or settled by such person or persons as may have been appointed by the court for that purpose in the event of the parties not agreeing; and upon such case being approved of by such court or a judge thereof, such court or judge shall settle the questions of law arising out of the same on which they desire to have the opinion of another court, and shall pronounce an order remitting the same, together with the case, to such superior court in such foreign state or country as shall be agreed upon in said convention, whose opinion is desired upon the law administered by such foreign court as applicable to the facts set forth in such case, and requesting them to pronounce their opinion on the questions submitted to them; and upon such opinion being pronounced, a copy thereof, certified by an officer of such court, shall be deemed and held to contain a correct record of such opinion.