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Hastings International and Comparative Law Review

Abstract

Three recent circuit court decisions concluded that there is no right to a jury trial for a foreign sovereign-owned corporate entity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The issue seems unsettled, however, due to a strong dissent in one of these cases and four contrary district court opinions. This Note argues that the circuit court cases were wrongly decided, not because of a misreading of congressional intent, but rather because the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act violates the Seventh Amendment right to jury trial in civil cases. Furthermore, the circuit courts failed to properly distinguished between a foreign sovereign and its corporate entities in formulating a test for immunity under the Act.

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