A look at developments in domestic and international law regarding foreign sovereign immunity governing central bank assets.
Latest in Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled 8-0 in Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran that Section 1610(g) of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) does not provide a freestanding basis for allowing parties that hold terrorism-related judgments under Section 1605(a) of the FSIA to attach and execute the property of foreign states that would otherwise be subject to sovereign immunity protections.
The D.C. Circuit ruled last week in Doe v. Ethiopia that Ethiopia cannot be sued in U.S. court for allegedly hacking the computer of a political dissident living in Maryland.
President Trump’s foreign business dealings and his own exposure to suit in foreign courts, Russian meddling in U.S. elections and cybersecurity more broadly, as well as the President’s thin-skinned, personal style of politics all illustrate the dangers of allowing the executive branch to make foreign official immunity determinations binding on the courts.
Background on John Doe v. Federal Republic of Ethiopia, scheduled for argument before the D.C. Circuit this Thursday, February 2.
A little-noticed bill to amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) passed both houses of Congress in December and was signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 16, 2016. The bill (“ The Foreign Cultural Exchange Jurisdictional Immunity Clarification Act (FCEJCA)” or “Art Museum Amendment”) narrows the expropriation exception in the FSIA to provide greater immunity for foreign states which send works of art to the United States for temporary exhibit. Unfortunately, the FCEJA may ultimately be more harmful than helpful to foreign states.
Michel Paradis examines the moral force of the 9/11 victims' argument for a day in court.
Congress has overridden President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). JASTA has been rightly criticized by other commentators (for example here and here); my purpose here is to analyze several of its important features and to raise some questions about how they will be interpreted.
Representative Adam Smith (D-WA), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, has written the following letter in opposition to JASTA.