Diplomatic Immunity - Jurisdiction - Adequacy of Service by Mail on Foreign Government Agency: Petrol Shipping Corp. v. Kingdom of Greece, Ministry of Commerce, Purchase Directorate (2d Cir. 1966)
10 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2013
Date Written: 1967
United States courts have abandoned the classical or absolute theory of sovereign immunity and have followed recent State Department suggestions based on the national interest in the proper conduct of foreign relations and on the “restrictive theory” which distinguishes between a nation’s “public acts” (immune) and its “private acts” (not immune). Under this theory if the State Department does not suggest immunity, a court should deny immunity when the circumstances do not fall into the traditional categories of “public acts.” However, even under the restrictive theory, a court will consider the merits of a claim against a foreign state only after a claimant has shown that jurisdiction over the sovereign has been acquired and proper service has been effected. Sovereign immunity is only a basis for relinquishing jurisdiction previously acquired by presence, consent, long-arm statute, or in rem attachment.
Keywords: diplomatic immunity, jurisdiction, civil procedure, service by mail, foreign government
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation