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Sovereign Immunity

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This guide provides an overview of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976. It is intended as a practical introduction for those who have little knowledge of or experience with the statute. The guide focuses on the basic legal issues U.S. courts face when handling cases that arise under the statute.

In Print: Available for Distribution

This guide provides an overview of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA). It discusses the FSIA’s purpose and scope of application, and it reviews the jurisdictional, procedural, and evidentiary questions most likely to arise at the outset of litigation. It discusses the entities entitled to immunity (in particular the distinctions between a "foreign state," its "political subdivisions," and its "agencies and instrumentalities"), exceptions to immunity, and issues relating to execution of judgments. The Addendum in Part VII discusses the terrorism exception, which was recently revised by Congress.

Superseded by The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act: A Guide for Judges, Second Edition (2018).

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