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FAQ / Q. What are the general exceptions to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign State?


A. Since the enactment of the Act in 1976, the general exceptions to the jurisdictional immunity of a foreign state have expanded, moving beyond the realm of "commercial activity". Most recently, P.L. 105-175 of May 11, 1998 further expanded the restrictive theory. Specifically, 28 U.S.C. 1605 now provides that a foreign state shall not be immune from the jurisdiction of courts of the United States or of the states in any case in which:

1605(a) (1) - explicit or implicit waiver of immunity by the foreign state;

1605(a)(2) - commercial activity carried on in the United States or an act performed in the United States in connection with a commercial activity elsewhere, or an act in connection with a commercial activity of a foreign state elsewhere that causes a direct effect in the United States;

1605(a)(3) - property taken in violation of international law is at issue;

1605(a)(4) - rights in property in the United States acquired by succession or gift or rights in immovable property situated in the United States are at issue;

1605(a)(5) - money damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury or death, or damage to or loss of property, occurring in the United States and caused by the tortious act or omission of that foreign state;

1605(a)(6) - action brought to enforce an agreement made by the foreign state with or for the benefit of a private party to submit to arbitration;

1605(a)(7) - money damages are sought against a foreign state for personal injury or death that was caused by an act of torture, extrajudicial killing, aircraft sabotage, hostage taking, or the provision of material support or resources for such an act, if the foreign state is designated as a state sponsor of terrorism under section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App 2405(j) or Section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2371).

1605(b) - a suit in admiralty is brought to enforce a maritime lien against a vessel or cargo of the foreign state which maritime lien is based upon a commercial activity of the foreign state.

 




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