Since the United States Supreme Court decided Jam v. Int’l Fin. Corp., 139 S. Ct. 759 (2019), international organizations (as designated under the International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945 (“IOIA”)) have increasingly faced litigation that can no longer be dismissed on absolute immunity grounds. These organizations now have to navigate preliminary jurisdictional defenses that they would not have normally considered or asserted before Jam. One such defense is “improper venue” pursuant to the venue provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (“FSIA”), which can result in case dismissal or transfer to a forum that an international organization defendant finds more familiar or strategically advantageous. Continue reading “The FSIA Provides Exclusive Venue Options to Sue an International Organization – Or Does It?”
Last week, in Rockefeller Technology Investments (Asia) VII v. Changzhou Sinotype Technology Co., Case No. S249923 (Cal. April 2, 2020), the California Supreme Court held that the Hague Service Convention does not apply to the state’s arbitration enforcement proceedings where transnational parties agree to informal notice of suit methods. The Court concluded that when these parties agree to submit to California arbitration, the California Arbitration Act ultimately governs service of process. And because the Act allows parties to enter into informal service arrangements, formal service of process procedures – including the Convention’s service mechanisms – are waived. This result should prompt foreign parties to re-evaluate the pros and cons of submitting to arbitration in California and agreeing to include informal notice of suit provisions in their underlying contracts.
The outcome presents a notable exception to the norms that foreign entities typically rely on in the Hague Convention. Generally, the Convention requires parties to serve notice of suit through each signatory’s Central Authority, which in turn carries out service consistent with their respective country’s domestic laws. As the U.S. Supreme Court held in Water Splash v. Menon, 137 S. Ct. 1504 (2017), additional methods of service are also allowable if the receiving country does not expressly prohibit it and if the domestic law of the forum country provides for it. One benefit of the Convention is that it protects international litigants from being hauled into a foreign court based on application of inconsistent and unfamiliar rules for providing them with notice of suit.
In this video blog, MSK Partner & International Trade Practice Chair Susan Kohn Ross covers the latest developments with the 301 tariffs. Continue reading China Tariffs – List 3 Finalized and Taking Effect