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Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)

Sovereign immunity is the traditional legal-political doctrine that a sovereign is immune from suit for any cause of action in its own courts of law. Only if the sovereign consents can a court hear a civil or criminal suit wherein the sovereign is named as a defendant or respondent in the case. The doctrine derives from a principle of ancient English constitutional law that “the king can do no wrong,” and it is widely adhered to by governments around the globe. For this reason, no one can sue the United States of America, for example, in an American court of law unless the U.S. government consents.

Correspondingly, the classical doctrine of sovereign immunity in international law claims an absolute immunity from suit of one nation-state’s sovereign ...

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