Central Bank Immunity

The Need for Greater Immunity from Execution for Central Banks: The Case of Da Afghanistan Bank

Central banks play a crucial role in the global economy. They are responsible for managing monetary policy, regulating financial institutions, maintaining financial stability, and ensuring that a country’s monetary policy aligns with its economic goals. Because of their essential role in the economy, and the sovereign functions that they perform, central banks should have a…

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A Primer on Foreign Sovereign Immunity

The immunity of states from the jurisdiction of foreign domestic courts is a long-standing and mostly uncontroversial principle of customary international law. The International Court of Justice has described foreign sovereign immunity as a procedural doctrine of international law, one that “derives from the principle of sovereign equality of the States.” As a practical matter,…

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New Scholarship on Sanctions and Central Bank Immunity

Ingrid has a new paper out on recent developments in central bank immunity, focusing on sanctions by the United States and other countries involving Russian, Afghan, and Venezuelan central bank assets and their relationship to immunity. Some of the issues addressed in the paper involve transnational litigation in U.S. courts, including the entitlement of sovereign…

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District Court Refuses to Let 9/11 Plaintiffs Have Afghan Central Bank Assets

The District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge George Daniels) has denied the turnover motions filed by judgment creditors against assets of Da Afghanistan Bank (“DAB”) that are held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“FRBNY”). Judge Daniels’ order and decision, issued on February 21, 2023, adopted the report and…

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Central Bank Immunity, Afghanistan, and Judgments Against the Taliban

International law and U.S. foreign policy provide powerful reasons to require clearer direction from the political branches before ordering the turnover of Afghan central bank assets to U.S. judgment creditors. [This post also appears on Lawfare]. Afghan central bank assets in the United States were frozen by President Biden following the Taliban’s takeover of the…

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How Congress Should Designate Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism

Cross Posted at Just Security Appearing before the United Nations General Assembly late last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy renewed his call for the designation of Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.  Proponents of the designation argue that it would ratchet up sanctions–making it more difficult for Russia to continue the war against Ukraine–and…

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Russia Should Not be Designated a State Sponsor of Terrorism

Editor’s Note: This article also appears in Just Security.

Members of Congress and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine have called for U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism, and late last month the Senate Foreign Relations Committee reported out a resolution to this effect. The designation would have important…

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Havlish Plaintiffs File a Potentially Misleading Brief Claiming Entitlement to Afghan Central Bank Assets

The 2021 return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan has led to litigation in the United States over the assets of the Afghan Central Bank (“DAB”).  As I explained in an earlier post, an executive order by President Biden froze about $7.0 billion in DAB assets held in New York. A license from the…

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Afghan Central Bank Assets Should Be Immune in Cases against the Taliban

Victims of terrorist attacks who obtained default judgments against the Taliban have requested the turnover of Afghan central bank assets frozen by U.S. sanctions. Because these assets are protected by foreign sovereign immunity and because no exception to immunity is applicable, courts should not order the assets turned over to the judgement-creditor plaintiffs, despite the terrible injuries that they and their families have suffered.

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John F. Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
zclopton@law.northwestern.eduEmail

Chukwuma Okoli

University of Birmingham
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Haley Anderson

University of California Berkeley
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Brian D. Hulse

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
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Wenliang Zhang

Renmin University of China Law School
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Haoxiang Ruan

Renmin University of China Law School
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Melissa Kucinski

MKFL
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