CASE NOTE: THE FOREIGN SOVEREIGN IMMUNITIES ACT BEFORE AND AFTER REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA V. WELTOVER Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1994 The Regents of the University of Wisconsin 
Wisconsin International Law Journal

CASE NOTE: THE FOREIGN SOVEREIGN IMMUNITIES ACT BEFORE AND AFTER REPUBLIC OF ARGENTINA V. WELTOVER

Spring, 1994

12 Wis. Int'l L.J. 375

Author

LISA NAOMI SWEET *

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA) grants immunity to foreign sovereigns from suit in U.S. courts subject to certain exceptions. 1 The "commercial activity exception" of the FSIA denies immunity to sovereigns who have engaged in a commercial activity having a sufficient jurisdictional connection with the United States. 2 In order to meet this nexus requirement the sovereign's commercial activity must meet one of three tests; it must either (1) occur in the United States, (2) be connected with an act performed in the United States, or (3) cause a direct effect in the United States. 3

In Republic of Argentina v. Weltover, Inc., the Supreme Court discussed the third nexus test of the commercial activity exception to sovereign immunity. 4 The Court ruled that when a foreign sovereign defaults upon a debt payable to a foreign creditor's bank account in the United States, the sovereign cannot claim immunity under the FSIA because such an activity constitutes a direct effect in the United States 5

This Note first addresses the facts of Weltover and its procedural posture. Part II outlines the history of sovereign immunity in the United States before the enactment of the FSIA, shedding light on problems associated with jurisdiction over sovereigns. Part III focuses on the inconsistent interpretations of the federal courts arising out of the lack of statutory guidance of the FSIA.

This Note then reviews Republic of Argentina v. Weltover in light of the legislative history of ...
 
 
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