The long arm of the law
The ruling of the US Supreme Court in the case of Altmann v Republic of Austria has redefined the US Government's stance on bringing claims against foreign sovereigns. Owen Pell and Karen Asner report
On 7 June, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Republic of Austria v Altmann. In a 6-3 ruling, the court held that the provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) relating to when a foreign sovereign is immune from suit in US courts apply to all claims against foreign sovereigns, regardless of when the claim arose (i.e. even if the claim arose before the 1976 enactment of the FSIA). This ruling alters the legal rule that had been uniformly applied since the passage of the FSIA.
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