Tag Archives: FSIA

Judge Gorsuch On International Issues

Neil Gorsuch

Here is a look at the record of Judge Neil Gorsuch, the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court, from the Letters Blogatory perspective. A quick note on methodology: I used the same super-secret search query that I use to find cases of the day to write about. So I may not have seen all of Judge Gorsuch’s written opinions that could be called international in focus, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen whatever there is that relates to our main areas of concern (the Hague Conventions, § 1782, the FSIA, etc.).
Continue reading Judge Gorsuch On International Issues

Case of the Day: Schermerhorn v. Israel

The Mavi Mamara
The Mavi Mamara, another ship in the flotilla. Credit: Free Gaza movement

The case of the day is Schermerhorn v. State of Israel (D.D.C. 2017). We first took a look in January 2016, and I’ve written about another case in the “Gaza flotilla lawfare” genre, Doğan v. Barak, too. David Schermerhorn were passengers on the Challenger I, a US-flagged vessel that took part in the 2010 attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. After the IDF stopped the ship, Schermerhorn and the others sued Israel in Washington for physical and emotional injuries, on theories of war crimes, false imprisonment, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conversion. Israel moved to dismiss on grounds of foreign sovereign immunity.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Schermerhorn v. Israel

Case of the Day: Barapind v. India

Martin Luther King
Letters Blogatory wishes its readers a happy Martin Luther King Day!

The case of the day is Barapind v. Government of the Republic of India (9th Cir. 2016). Kulvir Singh Barapind, an Indian national, was a member of a Sikh nationalist party that supported the secession of Punjab from India. He applied for asylum in the United States in 1993, claiming that “Indian security forces” had arrested and tortured him because of his political activity. In 1994, while the asylum request was pending, the Indian government sought extradition pursuant to the extradition treaty between the two countries. The charge was murder. The District Court certified his extraditabilty, but he sought relief under the UN Convention Against Torture. The US received assurances from India, via an exchange of diplomatic notes, that Barapind would not be tortured, and he was then extradited. But at his trial in India in 2008, Barapind was acquitted. He resumed his political activities and, he alleges, he was arrested and tortured in 2012.

In 2013, Barapind sued the Indian government in the Eastern District of California, asserting claims under the Convention and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The defense was, of course, foreign sovereign immunity, but Barapind claimed India had waived its immunity in the exchange of diplomatic notes that had led to his extradition. The court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, and Barapind appealed.
Continue reading Case of the Day: Barapind v. India