Jon Magnusson


A litigant who sues a state trading corporation for eight years through two trials, four appeals, and three certiorari denials, and then finally wins a judgment for $411,203.72, but is unable to collect on his judgment, might feel a little discouraged about the fairness of a principle of law that denies him a right to recovery. The principle is "sovereign immunity;" a sovereign state and its property, without its consent, are immune from the adjudicative processes of the courts in another sovereign state. In traditional international law, it does not matter what kind of activity the state is engaged in; the mere fact that it is a sovereign state entitles it to immunity regardless of what it does.

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