Reciprocity Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Reciprocity, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Reciprocity?

(n) Reciprocity is defined as the exchange or bilateral acceptance of privileges between nations, states, associations or individuals. For example when there is a reciprocity exists between two countries tax paid on one country is not subjected to tax again on the other country.

History and Meaning of Reciprocity

Reciprocity is a term used in both economics and international relations, referring to the mutual exchange of benefits or privileges. The concept of reciprocity dates back thousands of years, with evidence of its use in ancient cultures such as Greece and Rome. In the context of international relations, the principle of reciprocity is widely considered to be a foundational element of diplomacy and negotiation.

Examples of Reciprocity

  1. Two countries may establish a reciprocal trade agreement, where each country agrees to grant certain trade benefits to the other in exchange for similar benefits.
  2. A professional association may allow members of other similar associations to join at a reduced fee, so long as their own association similarly recognizes members of the reciprocating association.
  3. In the legal profession, reciprocity may refer to mutual agreements between states or jurisdictions to honor each other's legal licenses or certifications, allowing lawyers licensed in one state to practice law in another.

Legal Terms Similar to Reciprocity

  1. Mutuality - In legal contexts, mutuality refers to the principle that a contract must provide equivalent benefits or benefits in exchange for value given by both parties.
  2. Quid pro quo - This Latin phrase means "something for something," and refers to a mutually beneficial exchange or agreement between two parties.
  3. Tit-for-tat - This term is often used in the context of international relations, referring to a strategy of reciprocity in which one country responds to another's actions with an equivalent action.