Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

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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Contractual Waivers of Foreign Sovereign Immunity

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) provides that foreign states are immune from suit in the United States unless an exception applies.  An important and long-standing exception to immunity is consent (the more common term in international practice) or waiver (the term used in the United States). The FSIA provides that a foreign state shall…

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English Court Finds No Sovereign Immunity in Spyware Case

The English High Court has applied a statutory exception to foreign sovereign immunity to claims arising from the alleged use of spyware by a foreign state to target and monitor dissidents in the United Kingdom. It is the first case to find an exception to sovereign immunity for allegations relating to spyware. In doing so,…

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Immediate Appeals in Foreign Sovereign Litigation

Foreign governments have many advantages in litigation.  Chief among them is sovereign immunity.  Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, foreign states and their agencies and instrumentalities are immune from suit in United States courts unless the case falls within one of the statute’s specific exceptions to immunity.  That substantive immunity also confers important procedural advantages. …

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Using TLB to Teach Foreign Relations Law

This post discusses Foreign Relations Law as part of our series explaining how professors can use resources on TLB to teach various classes. Previous posts have discussed Transnational Litigation, Civil Procedure, International Business Transactions, and Conflict of Laws. Although TLB focuses on litigation, and although Foreign Relations Law classes cover many topics that are rarely litigated, there is…

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New Scholarship on the Argentinian Sovereign Debt Litigation

For more than a decade in the early 00s, Argentina’s $100 billion sovereign debt default dominated the transnational litigation news headlines – and, indeed, global financial news. Hundreds of cases were filed against Argentina in U.S. courts with long-term implications for foreign sovereign immunity and foreign direct investment.   Many of those cases were consolidated before…

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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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A Primer on State Law in Transnational Litigation

[Editors: This post is one in a series of Primers on topics in transnational litigation. Primers on each of the topics listed in the Topics menu are planned, and some already appear on the relevant topic pages.] The procedural and substantive rules that U.S. courts apply in transnational litigation come from many sources, including the…

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Throwback Thursday: International Association of Machinists v. OPEC

In 1978, the International Association of Machinists (IAM), a labor union, sued OPEC and its member countries for violating U.S. antitrust law by operating a cartel. The district court held that OPEC countries were immune from suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). On appeal the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal on…

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Throwback Thursday: The Tate Letter and Foreign Sovereign Immunity

Seventy years ago this week, Department of State Legal Adviser Jack Tate wrote to Attorney General Philip Perlman to announce a sea change in State’s litigation practice vis-à-vis foreign sovereign immunity. The so-called “Tate Letter” informed the Department of Justice that State would shift from the “classical” approach to sovereign immunity to what’s known as…

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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 Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
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Peter B. "Bo" Rutledge

University of Georgia School of Law
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Linda J. Silberman

New York University School of Law
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Geneviève Saumier

McGill University Faculty of Law
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David L. Sloss

Santa Clara University School of Law
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Philippa Webb

King's College London
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Robert Kry

MoloLamken LLP
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Katie Burghardt Kramer

DGW Kramer LLP
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Ellen Nohle

Yale Law School
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Chris Ewell

EarthRights International
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Oona A. Hathaway

Yale Law School
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