47 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2011
Date Written: January 1, 1986
Congress passed the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA or “Act”) to clarify when U.S. courts may compel a foreign state to appear in a civil action. The Act provides for both personal and subject matter jurisdiction over certain suits against foreign governmental entities and is the only way a U.S. court can obtain subject matter jurisdiction over a claim against a foreign sovereign. This article begins with a review of foreign sovereign immunity law in the United States to clarify the policies that should underlie a court’s analysis of the discovery issue. It then examines how U.S. courts have approached jurisdictional discovery in cases involving foreign sovereigns. Finally, this article suggests a meaningful synthesis of the current judicial approaches, urging a move away from fact-specific adjudication towards a more comprehensive, uniform, and predictable approach to the issue.
Keywords: Jurisdictional discovery, foreign sovereign immunities act, FSIA, foreign sovereign
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Swanson, Steven R., Jurisdictional Discovery Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (January 1, 1986). Emory International Law Review, Vol. 13, p. 445, 1999. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1955632