Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

International Decision: Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.

American Journal of International Law, Vol. 99, p. 881, 2005

7 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2006  

Duncan B. Hollis

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Abstract

In Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §12181 et seq., applies to foreign-flag cruise ships in U.S. waters, but does not require the removal of physical barriers if it would conflict with international legal obligations or compromise shipboard safety. In accommodating international law, the Court's decision effectively tracks the Charming Betsy canon—i.e., "an act of Congress ought never to be construed to violate the law of nations if any other possible construction remains." But, the Court's failure to agree on a corresponding accommodation for international comity in cases where U.S. law would otherwise regulate a foreign ship's "internal affairs" brings further confusion to the question of which U.S. laws apply to such vessels, and, more generally, suggests further erosion of the primacy of flag state jurisdiction.

Keywords: international law, comity, charming betsy, flag state, jurisdiction, extraterritoriality

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K23, K33

Suggested Citation

Hollis, Duncan B., International Decision: Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd.. American Journal of International Law, Vol. 99, p. 881, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=948293

Duncan B. Hollis (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
111
Rank
208,641
Abstract Views
1,886