United States Supreme Court Asked to Consider Scope of Immunity of International Organizations

In Jam v. International Finance Corporation, the United States Supreme Court is being asked to consider whether “international organizations” enjoy broader immunities from suits in U.S. courts than “foreign governments” under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1602-11.

As explained in the petition, there is a split among the Circuit Courts of Appeal concerning whether these various international organizations that engage in a broad range of domestic and international activities (including significant commercial activities) are entitled to a form of “absolute immunity” as enunciated in United States common-law decisions establishing jurisprudence prior to the codification of immunity (a more restrictive immunity) that was extended to foreign governments under the FSIA.

This is an extremely important issue for any non-profit or for-profit “international organization” that fits within the broad class of those entities that engage in a multitude of activities in the United States or with any entity within the U.S. that can potentially sue these organisations.

It will be interesting to see the level of amicus curiae (friend of the court) participation that this case garners.

As a frequent author of amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court and other federal and states courts in the United States, Carson J. Tucker has succeeded in convincing appellate courts to consider the implications of decisions and legal issues that they are addressing in a wide variety of nationally significant cases, including international environmental law, U.S. constitutional law, and significant private liability matters.

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