Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. v. United States

The Media Coverage of Turkiye Halk Bankasi, in Review

Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. v. United States, a criminal case originating in the Second Circuit. The defendant, Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. (“Halkbank”), is a foreign state-owned commercial bank, headquartered in Istanbul, and a subsidiary of the Turkish government’s sovereign wealth fund. Charged with laundering over $1…

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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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Executive Control Versus “Deference” in Halkbank

On January 17, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. v. United States(Halkbank) on whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) applies to criminal prosecutions. One argument advanced by the government in Halkbank (and other immunity cases) is that the executive branch has absolute control over immunity determinations not governed by…

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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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The Executive Does Not Control Common Law Immunity

A previously reported on TLB, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Türkiye Halk Bankasi, A.S. v. United States, to decide whether a bank owned by Turkey is entitled to foreign state immunity from federal criminal prosecution.  Halkbank was indicted for evading sanctions against Iran. Both lower courts denied immunity to Halkbank, reasoning in part that…

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The Supreme Court Takes Up Sovereign Immunity from Criminal Prosecutions

On the first day of the October 2022 Term, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Türkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. v. United States. The case, put simply, asks whether the U.S. government can bring criminal prosecutions against foreign companies owned by foreign sovereigns. The United States has charged Halkbank, in which Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund has…

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Criminal Proceedings and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

Congress enacted the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA) to address the inconsistent application of doctrines of state immunity to civil suits against foreign states and state-owned enterprises. The statute confers jurisdictional immunity on these entities, subject to enumerated exceptions. Most litigation under the FSIA involves whether a particular defendant qualifies as a foreign…

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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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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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