HomeCircuit Court Admiralty CasesForeign Sovereign Immunity
Foreign Sovereign Immunity

The following are digests and links to Circuit Court Admiralty Cases that have as an issue foreign sovereign immunity:

U.S. Titan Inc. v. Guangzhou Zhen Hua Shipping
Second Circuit Court of Appeals
February 15, 2001

Arbitration/Charter Parties: the District Court correctly held that the parties did not enter into an "ad hoc" agreement to arbitrate whether they had formed a charter party, but that they had formed a charter party that included an arbitration clause requiring London arbitration; Foreign Sovereign Immunity: although defendant vessel owner was a Chinese state-owned company, it was not immune from petitioner's action to compel arbitration in London in view of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act's arbitration exception.

Eott Energy v. Winethur Swiss Insurance
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
July 20, 2001

Foreign Sovereign Immunity: since the defendant insurance company is not directly owned by Ireland, but rather held through an intermediate holding company owned by Ireland, it is not itself an "instrumentality of a foreign state" under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act ("FSIA"); even though the insurance company is not directly owned by ireland, it is still possible for it to be an "organ" of a foreign state as defined by § 1603(b)(2) of the FSIA; since the record is unclear, the case will be remanded to the district court to determine whether the company acted as an "organ" of a foreign state by engaging in "a public activity on behalf of the foreign government. 

Venus Lines v. CVG Industria Venezolania de Aluminio, C.A.
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
April 25, 2000

Foreign Sovereign Immunity:  the foreign sovereign shipper had explicitly waived its immunity from prejudgment attachment in the governing contract of affreightment, thus the carrier was entitled to attach for security purposes the sovereign's cargo as long as that cargo was used for "commercial activity in the United States."

Transamer Leasing v. La Republica de Venezuela
District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals
January 21, 2000

Foreign Sovereign Immunity: the Venezuelan government is immune from suit for the contract breaches of a defunct state owned shipping company since it did not exercise the requisite control over the company. 

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