TURKIYE HALK BANKASI A.S. V. UNITED STATES
The Court held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) does not apply to criminal cases. Halkbank, a Turkish state-owned bank, was indicted for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The Second Circuit held that the FSIA does not apply to criminal cases and, in the alternative, that the case would fall within the FSIA's commercial activities exception. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for consideration of common law immunities.
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….Continue Reading
During its 2022 Term, which ended four weeks ago, the Supreme Court decided five cases with important implications for transnational litigation. The questions included whether the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) applies to criminal proceedings; the standard for aiding and abetting under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA); whether states may exercise general personal jurisdiction over foreign…Continue Reading
Halkbank On Remand: Immunity and Extraterritoriality – Judicial Deference or Customary International Law?
The Supreme Court surprised some by ruling unanimously in Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. v. United States that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) does not protect Halkbank from criminal prosecution in U.S. courts. Seven Justices concluded that the FSIA applies solely to civil actions but remanded the case – without guidance – for the Second…Continue Reading
In 2019, the United States indicted Turkiye Halk Bankasi (Halkbank), a Turkish state-owned bank, alleging a multiyear scheme to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran by using fraudulent transactions to transfer the proceeds of oil and gas sales to Iran. Last month, the Supreme Court rejected Halkbank’s claim of immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act…Continue Reading
In Turkiye Halk Bankasi A.S. v. United States (Halkbank), the Supreme Court held that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) does not apply to criminal proceedings. The Court remanded the case to the Second Circuit to reconsider Halkbank’s claim of common law immunity. Justice Gorsuch, joined by Justice Alito, wrote a partial dissent. He would…Continue Reading
The Supreme Court held this week in Türkiye Halk Bankasi, A.S. v. United States that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) does not apply to criminal prosecutions. That holding was a blow to Halkbank—a foreign state-owned enterprise under indictment—which had argued that the FSIA provided it with immunity. But the case is not over. The…Continue Reading
Washington Foreign Law Society Podcast, "Does the FSIA Bar Prosecution in U.S. Courts of Commercial Enterprises Owned by Foreign States?" (with Ingrid Brunk, Chimène Keitner, David Stewart, & Mark Feldman)
Curt Bradley & Jack Goldsmith, The FSIA and Criminal Prosecutions (Lawfare)