Act of State Doctrine

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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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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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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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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Throwback Thursday: American Banana and the Presumption Against Extraterritoriality

Today, it is “well established” that U.S. antitrust law applies extraterritorially to foreign conduct that causes substantial effects in the United States, but this was not always true. When the Supreme Court first addressed the geographic scope of the Sherman Act in 1909, it held that the act applied only to conduct in the United…

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When Should Federal Common Law Govern Transnational Litigation?

The conventional wisdom is that transnational litigation “can trigger foreign relations concerns.” Because the federal government has primary responsibility for the United States’ relations with other nations, the question naturally arises whether federal law should govern such litigation even when neither a federal statute, nor the U.S. Constitution, nor a treaty is applicable. Currently, as…

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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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Second Circuit Rejects Act of State Doctrine in Antitrust Case

In a recent decision, Celestin v. Caribbean Air Mail, Inc., the Second Circuit held that the act of state doctrine does not bar U.S. antitrust claims based on the acts of a foreign government. Although the Second Circuit is right, its decision diverges from the decisions of other circuits that have applied the doctrine as…

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Throwback Thursday: Joseph Story and the Comity of Nations

One of the most influential books on transnational litigation was written nearly two centuries ago by a sitting Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Joseph Story’s Commentaries on the Conflict of Laws, first published in 1834, synthesized foreign and domestic cases regarding conflict of laws and the enforcement of foreign judgments. Story endorsed international comity…

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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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