Saudi Arabia

Saying Yes to the World, But No to Personal Jurisdiction

The Northern District of California (Judge Susan Illston) recently dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction a suit brought by California residents against the German airline Lufthansa for harms emanating from the plaintiffs’ experience boarding a flight in Saudi Arabia en route to San Francisco. As the court noted in Doe v. Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft, the…

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International Custody Jurisdiction, Human Rights, and Legislative Change

The Court of Appeals of Washington State recently issued an unpublished opinion that will serve as a benchmark for parents who flee certain countries with their children, seeking safe harbor in the United States (In re AlHaidari (Fearing, CJ)). In re AlHaidari Bethany AlHaidari, a U.S. citizen, married Ghassan AlHaidari, a Saudi citizen, in Saudi…

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Proposed Legislation to Amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Representatives Adam Schiff, Betty McCollum, and Gerry Connolly have introduced the  Jamal Khashoggi Protection of Activists and Press Freedom Act of 2023.  The purpose of the legislation is to protect free speech advocates and journalists. The press release announcing the draft legislation notes the murder five years ago of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “at the hands…

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MBS’s Immunity and the Subject Matter Jurisdiction Problem

As previously discussed at TLB, a federal district court recently dismissed claims against Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) arising from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. When the claims were filed, MBS was merely Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and not entitled to head-of-state immunity. MBS was subsequently appointed Prime Minister, however, a position that does…

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District Court Dismisses Killing Claims Against MBS

Yesterday, the District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge John Bates) dismissed a lawsuit brought by Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN) and the widow of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered by security agents at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. The plaintiffs sued Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and…

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State Department Recognizes Head-of-State Immunity for MBS

Earlier today, the U.S. State Department recognized that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) is entitled to head-of-state immunity as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia in a case brought by Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN) and the widow of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered by Saudi security agents at the Saudi…

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District Court Dismisses Another Case Against MBS for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

Two weeks ago, while King Salman was appointing Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia in an apparent bid to secure him head-of-state immunity in a suit brought by Jamal Khashoggi’s widow, the judge in a different case quietly dismissed another plaintiff’s claims against MBS for lack of personal jurisdiction….

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MBS’s Appointment as Saudi Prime Minister Gives Him Head-of-State Immunity

On Tuesday, King Salman appointed Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. The appointment makes MBS Saudi Arabia’s head of government, thereby entitling him to “head of state” immunity under U.S. law and customary international law. The appointment comes just days before an October 3 court deadline for the U.S….

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Is MBS Entitled to Head of State Immunity?

Editor’s Note: This article also appears in Just Security. In 2018, Saudi security agents brutally murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation. In 2020, Khashoggi’s widow and a non-profit organization that he helped found sued MBS and…

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An Insightful Post on a Recent Case

Ted Folkman has a post over at Letters Blogatory discussing a case – CDM Smith v. Atasi – decided by the Federal District Court for the District of of Massachusetts in March 2022. The court first considers whether a judgment rendered by the labor courts of Saudi Arabia is enforceable in Massachusetts. It then goes…

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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
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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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