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Comity vs. Committee: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 2, 2023
Comity refers to courteous behavior or mutual respect among nations or groups. Committee refers to a group of people appointed for a specific function.

Key Differences

"Comity" refers to a social harmony and the practice of courteous behavior in society. On the other hand, "committee" refers to a group of people appointed or elected to perform a specific task or function. In social situations, comity helps to maintain peace and order, while committees are often formed to address specific issues or make decisions on behalf of a larger group.
Comity is essential in international relations where countries strive to maintain peaceful and friendly relations with each other. In contrast, committees are often used in government and organizations to manage complex tasks by dividing the work among a group of people with different expertise. The members of a committee work together to achieve a common goal, while comity ensures that their interactions are respectful and harmonious.
In legal terms, comity refers to the recognition and respect of the laws and judicial decisions of other jurisdictions. Similarly, committees are often used in legal settings, such as in courtrooms or legislative bodies, to make informed decisions based on a collective understanding of the law. Both comity and committees play an important role in maintaining order and ensuring fair and just outcomes in legal matters.
In everyday life, comity can be observed in the way people interact with each other in public places, such as in stores, on the street, or in public transportation. Committees, on the other hand, are commonly found in workplaces, schools, and other organizations where people come together to achieve a common goal. Both comity and committees are important in facilitating cooperation and collaboration among individuals and groups in society.

Comparison Chart


Courteous behavior or mutual respect.
A group of people appointed for a function.


Courtesy, respect, often in diplomacy.
Collective decision-making, action.


Diplomatic, social, legal.
Organizational, community, project-based.

Key Element

Adherence to conventions, respect.
Structured participation, goals.


International relations, legal matters.
Specific tasks, objectives within groups.

Comity and Committee Definitions


Mutual respect among nations.
Comity governed their diplomatic relations.


Members appointed for decision-making.
The committee voted on the proposal.


Respect for another’s laws or rules.
Comity was observed in the court’s decision.


A team working towards a common goal.
The committee worked tirelessly on the project.


Harmony in interactions.
Comity helped avoid conflicts.


A group organized for a specific task.
The committee organized the charity event.


Civil behavior in public life.
Politicians maintained comity during discussions.


A panel for investigation or oversight.
The committee investigated the issue thoroughly.


Courtesy in social contexts.
Comity prevailed at the meeting.


An advisory or executive group.
The steering committee guided the company’s strategy.


An atmosphere of social harmony.


A group of people officially delegated to perform a function, such as investigating, considering, reporting, or acting on a matter. See Usage Note at collective noun.


See comity of nations.


(Law) The principle by which a court in one jurisdiction defers to a court in another jurisdiction where either would have legal power to decide the case, or gives effect to the laws, executive acts, or legal decisions of another jurisdiction.


And considerate behaviour towards others; social harmony.


Friendly understanding and mutual recognition between two entities, especially nations.


Mildness and suavity of manners; courtesy between equals; friendly civility; as, comity of manners; the comity of States.


A state or atmosphere of harmony or mutual civility and respect


Is comity only relevant in international relations?

No, comity applies to any context requiring mutual respect, not just international relations.

Does comity imply agreement?

Comity implies respect and courtesy, not necessarily agreement.

Can anyone form a committee?

Yes, a committee can be formed by any group or organization for a specific purpose.

Must a committee have a leader?

Most committees have a chairperson or leader to guide discussions and decisions.

Are committee decisions always final?

It depends on the committee’s authority; some decisions may require further approval.

How many people are needed for a committee?

There's no set number; a committee can have as few or as many members as needed.

Do committees need a specific structure?

Committees generally have a structured format, but it can vary depending on the purpose.

Can committees be temporary?

Yes, committees can be either temporary for specific tasks or permanent.

Does comity mean compromising values?

Comity means respect and civility, not necessarily compromising one’s values.

Is comity a legal term?

Comity has applications in law but is broader than just a legal term.

Can committees make binding decisions?

Some committees make binding decisions, while others only advise or recommend.

Can comity help in conflict resolution?

Yes, comity can create a conducive environment for resolving conflicts.

Can comity change over time?

Yes, comity can evolve depending on changing relationships or contexts.

Can comity exist in competitive environments?

Yes, comity can be maintained even in competitive settings through mutual respect.

Are committees only found in formal settings?

Committees exist in both formal and informal settings, wherever group decision-making is needed.

Does comity guarantee peace?

Comity fosters a peaceful environment but doesn’t guarantee it.

Can committees have sub-committees?

Yes, larger committees often have sub-committees focusing on specific areas.

Is comity enforceable by law?

Comity isn’t legally enforceable but can influence legal or diplomatic decisions.

How are committee members chosen?

Members are often chosen based on expertise, interest, or organizational roles.

Does comity require reciprocity?

Ideally, comity is reciprocal, but one party can still show comity without reciprocation.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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