Thu, Mar 16

POL 309-800, International Law
SUNY Oswego | Spring 2021
Dr. Craig Warkentin

  • Ch. 4, Jurisdiction (216-230)

  • Distinguish restrictive sovereign immunity from absolute sovereign immunity.
  • Describe the Act of State doctrine and explain why U.S. courts follow it.

  • jure gestionis (217)
  • jure imperii (217)


P. 221

Ask yourself whether you would define the following acts as public or private:

  1. The Spanish government makes a contract with a U.S. vessel owner to transport surplus wheat from Alabama to Spanish ports to feed the Spanish people. The vessel owner sustains damages allegedly because of the unsafe Spanish docking facilities and sues the Spanish government in U.S. court. (Victory Transport Inc. v. Comisaria General de Abastecimiento y Transportes, 336 F.2d 354, 356-60 (2d Cir. 1964)).
  2. The Bangladeshi government enters into a license agreement with a U.S. corporation permitting it to capture and export rhesus monkeys from Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi government terminates the licensing agreement and the corporation sues in U.S. court. (Mol Inc. v. People's Republic of Bangladesh, 736 F.2d 1326 (9th Cir.) cert. den. 469 U.S. 1037 (1984)).
  3. The Iranian government makes a contract with a German plumbing firm to repair the heating system in the Iranian Embassy in Cologne. The embassy refuses payment and the plumbing firm sues in the German courts. (Decision of April 30, 1963, West German Constitutional Court, 45 Int'l L. Rep. 57 (1963)).
  4. The U.S. government enters into a contract with an Italian company to build sewers for the U.S. Logistic Command in Italy. Contract disagreements erupt and the Italian firm sues the U.S. government in Italian courts. (Governo degli Stati Uniti di America c. Soc, I.R.S.A. [1963] Foro Ital. 1405, 47 Revista de Diritto Internazionale 484 (May 13, 1963)).

P. 228

  1. Do you think doctrines on foreign state immunity in national courts should be governed by national law or international law?
  2. Is the customary law rule requiring foreign state immunity in national courts a peremptory rule of international law?
  3. If the customary law rule requiring foreign state immunity in state courts is simply an ordinary level customary international law norm, should the imperative to redress peremptory norm violations overcome such immunity?



  1. Write an opinion for the Court ruling either that Delta must extradite Jacob or that Delta is under no obligation to extradite Jacob.
  2. Assume for purposes of this sub-section only that in light of Delta's refusal to extradite Jacob, Ceta sent undercover agents to Delta who captured Jacob and forcibly brought him to Ceta. Jacob was then put on trial in Ceta for the art thefts. Please explain any defenses that Jacob could raise to his being tried in Ceta and write an opinion of the trial court either accepting or rejecting each of the defenses raised. You should assume that the Ceta courts may assert jurisdiction to the maximum amount permitted by international law.