Act of State Doctrine

A View of Transnational Litigation from the State Department

I recently had the pleasure of reading Footnotes to History: Law and Diplomacy by TLB contributor Mark Feldman. Mark spent sixteen years (1965-1981) at the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, where he helped write the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the Iran Claims Settlement Agreement. The…

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District Court Rejects Forum Non Conveniens Motion in Haiti Price-Fixing Case

The plaintiffs in Celestin v. Martelly brought a class action alleging that Haitian President Michel Joseph Martelly hatched a scheme to impose fees and fix prices on money transfers, food remittances, and international calls to and from Haiti and that Haitian and U.S. companies joined the scheme in violation of U.S. antitrust law, the federal…

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Throwback Thursday: Eighty Years of Ex Parte Republic of Peru

Back in 1943, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in an admiralty case against the Ucayali, a Peruvian steamship. A Cuban company brought the in rem action in a federal district court in Louisiana alleging that the steamship violated a charter agreement by failing to carry a cargo of sugar from Peru to New York….

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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 Foreign Relations Law classes cover many topics that are rarely litigated, there is significant…

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When Is International Law a Political Question?

In a provocative essay posted on SSRN, The Political Question Doctrine and International Law, TLB Advisor Curt Bradley looks at the historical relationship between the political question doctrine and international law, arguing that “the political question doctrine emerged in part to allow the political branches, rather than the courts, to make determinations about this country’s—and…

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Officials Who Kidnapped Hotel Rwanda Hero Are Not Immune from Suit

In 1994, Paul Rusesabagina was the manager of a hotel in Kigali, Rwanda. During the genocide, he sheltered 1,268 Hutu and Tutsi refugees, all of whom survived. His courage inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda,” and in 2005 President Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Rusesabagina became a human rights advocate and vocal critic…

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Throwback Thursday: Forty Years of the Bancec Test

The Supreme Court’s 1983 decision in First National City Bank v. Banco Para El Comercio Exterior de Cuba was saddled with a cumbersome mouthful of a title, one confusingly similar to a 1972 opinion in another important case, First National City Bank v. Banco Nacional de Cuba.  Fortunately, the 1983 decision was quickly dubbed Bancec, an…

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Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2022

The thirty-sixth annual survey on choice of law in the American courts is now available on SSRN. The survey covers significant cases decided in 2022 on choice of law, party autonomy, extraterritoriality, international human rights, foreign sovereign immunity, foreign official immunity, the act of state doctrine, adjudicative jurisdiction, and the recognition and enforcement of foreign…

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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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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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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

Aaron D. Simowitz

Willamette University College of Law
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Timothy D. Lytton

Georgia State University College of Law
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Chukwuma Okoli

University of Birmingham
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Abubakri Yekini

University of Manchester
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Haley Anderson

University of California Berkeley
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Brian D. Hulse

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
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Wenliang Zhang

Renmin University of China Law School
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Haoxiang Ruan

Renmin University of China Law School
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Melissa Kucinski

MKFL
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