Two recent Supreme Court rulings could be consequential for the interpretation of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
Latest in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
Does the “expropriation exception” of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) afford U.S. courts jurisdiction to resolve claims brought by German citizens against the German government?
Can courts abstain from hearing suits against foreign sovereigns for reasons of international comity, even when the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) has provided the court jurisdiction over the suit by stripping the foreign sovereign of immunity?
A preliminary analysis of the legal questions likely to be raised in the lawsuits against the Saudi crown prince.
On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released a declassified opinion by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) detailing limited circumstances under which the government may sequester information that was collected unlawfully.
Senate Judiciary Committee Examines the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and Coronavirus-Related Suits Against China
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, Coronavirus, and Addressing China’s Culpability”—and the proceedings demonstrated that this corner of foreign relations law has become a political lightning rod.
Several individuals, small businesses and states have filed a total of at least 14 different suits against China (and affiliated entities and officials) based on its perceived culpability in causing the coronavirus pandemic.
As cyber threats during the coronavirus pandemic increase, Congress has considered allowing private lawsuits against foreign states for alleged unauthorized cyber activity. This response would create more problems than it solves.
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.
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.