Sanctions

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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Expert Recap and Analysis of Halkbank Oral Argument at the Supreme Court

Editor’s Note: This article also appears in Just Security. On January 17, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Türkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. (Halkbank) v. United States. The case asks whether Halkbank, which is majority-owned by the Turkish Wealth Fund (TWF), enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution in U.S. courts. Last spring, I previewed the unresolved…

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Resolving the Immunity Issues in Halkbank

The question now before the U.S. Supreme Court in Türkiye Halk Bankasi A.Ş., v. United States is whether a foreign state’s wholly-owned private bank is immune from criminal prosecution in U.S. courts. The issue is framed as one of statutory interpretation, since the Second Circuit affirmed District Judge Berman’s ruling that the 1976 Foreign Sovereign…

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A Century of Changes in Extraterritoriality

This post is a lightly edited version of a talk given virtually on November 26, 2022, at the “International Symposium on Accelerating Changes Unseen in a Century and the Development of International Law” organized by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of International Law. I am pleased to be with you today to discuss…

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Transnational Litigation Anticipation: Previewing the Court’s Next Term

TLB recently recapped the Supreme Court’s transnational litigation cases from last Term. This post looks ahead to the upcoming Term, for which the Court has already granted certiorari in a personal jurisdiction case that may have implications for transnational litigation. TLB is also tracking several interesting petitions for certiorari in disputes involving the Foreign Sovereign…

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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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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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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

Matt Hornung

Cornell Law School
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Jonathan Schaffer-Goddard

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg; 4 Pump Court, London
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Chimène Keitner

UC Hastings Law
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David P. Stewart

Georgetown University Law Center
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Curtis A. Bradley

University of Chicago Law School
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Benjamin Hayward

Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School
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Rajat Lal

Faculty of Law, Monash University
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David Landau

Florida State University College of Law
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Katie Burghardt Kramer

DGW Kramer LLP
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Tanya Monestier

University at Buffalo School of Law
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