Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Latest in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Personal Jurisdiction Over Foreign States and State-Owned Enterprises

Conventional wisdom and many lower court cases hold that foreign states are not entitled to constitutionally based personal jurisdiction protections in federal courts because they are not “persons” protected by the Fifth Amendment. That reasoning is incorrect as a matter of constitutional text and history, and it leads to poor results as a matter of policy for reasons explored at length in a forthcoming article and summarized here.

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Awarding Punitive Damages Against Foreign States Is Dangerous and Counterproductive

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held recently that Syria is liable for the death of American war correspondent Marie Colvin and awarded Colvin’s family $302.5 million—$2.5 million in compensatory damages and $300 million in punitive damages. Colvin was killed in Syria when President Bashar Assad’s forces bombed the Baba Amr Media Center in Homs while she was in the facility.

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

The D.C. Circuit’s Opinion in the Mystery Subpoena Case: Unresolved Personal Jurisdiction Issues

On Jan. 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit released its redacted opinion In re Grand Jury Subpoena, the mysterious case with apparent links to the Mueller investigation concerning an unnamed corporation (“the Corporation”) owned by an unnamed foreign country.

Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Russia Asserts Immunity in the DNC Case

Writing in Lawfare in April 2018, I considered the role of foreign sovereign immunity in the Democratic National Committee’s lawsuit against the Russian Federation and Russian individuals and entities. The case raised an interesting set of issues, I noted, but “these questions will only arise if Russia and the state-related defendants are properly served and if they decide to litigate rather than default.” The courts may get to think through some of these questions after all.

U.S. Supreme Court

Could a U.S. State Sue Russia for Election-Related Hacking Under the Supreme Court’s Original Jurisdiction?

The Senate intelligence committee has said that a small number of states had their election computer defenses breached by Russian hackers in 2016. Assume, as the report writes, that those hackers were linked to the Russian government. Could the states whose systems were breached sue Russia under the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction?

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