Expropriation

Throwback Thursday: Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino

Sixty years ago, on March 23, 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Banco Nacional de Cuba v. Sabbatino. By a vote of 8-1, the Court held that the act of state doctrine prevented U.S. courts from questioning the validity of Cuba’s expropriations of property owned by U.S. nationals, even if the…

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Russia Continues Pressing Sovereignty Claims in the Yukos Award Saga

Russian 200 ruble note

Yukos Oil Company (“Yukos”) shareholders’ attempts to enforce their $50 billion arbitral award against the Russian Federation are moving forward in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. On November 17, 2023, Judge Beryl Howell denied Russia’s motion to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities…

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D.C. Circuit Addresses FSIA in German Art Case

In the years before World War II, the Nazi government in Germany allegedly stole an art collection belonging to a Jewish industrialist. His descendants who live in the United States sued Germany in Toren v. Federal Republic of Germany.  They argue that Germany is not immune from suit under an exception to the Foreign Sovereign…

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Using TLB to Teach International Business Transactions

This post continues our series explaining how professors can use resources on TLB to teach various classes. This post discusses International Business Transactions (IBT). Although TLB focuses on litigation and IBT focuses on transactions, there is a great deal of overlap. The most obvious examples are contractual clauses that plan for dispute resolution, like forum…

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Litigating Expropriation Claims in U.S. Courts

Foreign sovereigns generally enjoy sovereign immunity in the United States by operation of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). The FSIA specifically provides, however, that a foreign sovereign shall not be immune in any case in which “rights in property taken in violation of international law are in issue.” On its face, this expropriation exception…

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New Scholarship on the FSIA

Vivian Grosswald Curran (University of Pittsburgh) has a draft article up on SSRN entitled Nazi Stolen Art: Uses and Misuses of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.  Many important FSIA cases have involved great works of art stolen by the Nazis including the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Altmann v. Republic of Austria concerning the ownership…

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More Evidence that Helms-Burton is Backfiring

In 1996, Congress passed the Helms-Burton Act to strengthen sanctions against Cuba and to deter foreign companies from investing there. To discourage foreign investment, Title III created a civil remedy allowing U.S. nationals to sue any person who “traffics” in property confiscated by the Cuban government for damages in an amount three times the value…

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New Article Argues that the Helms-Burton Act Has Backfired

In an article recently posted on SSRN, Gergana Sivrieva surveys cases filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act for trafficking in expropriated property. She shows that, surprisingly, the principal defendants have not been foreign companies investing in Cuba but rather U.S. companies with only attenuated connections to such property. Congress passed the Helm-Burton Act…

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Supreme Court decides Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation

The Supreme Court today unanimously held in Cassirer v. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection Foundation that state choice-of-law rules apply in cases brought against foreign sovereigns alleging non-federal claims.

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D.C. Circuit Addresses FSIA in Hungarian Art Case

Last month, the D.C. Circuit addressed several important questions under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) in its latest decision in De Csepel v. Republic of Hungary, a long-running suit to recover art expropriated during the Second World War. The court held that the defendant Hungarian National Asset Management Inc. (MNV) was subject to jurisdiction…

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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

Matt Slovin

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Noah Buyon

Duke University School of Law
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Will Moon

University of Maryland
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William K. McGoughran

Vanderbilt Law School
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Chimène Keitner

UC Davis School of Law
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Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Justin R. Rassi

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Isabelle Glimcher

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Ben Köhler

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
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Aaron D. Simowitz

Willamette University College of Law
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