This article addresses each of these issues regarding the application of jurisdiction under the FSIA to World War II and other pre-1952 war crimes, including claims involving expropriation and plunder of personal property, and concludes that none of these issues prevents the exercise of jurisdiction under the FSIA for resolution of these claims in United States courts. Part II discusses the history of the doctrine of sovereign immunity in the United States prior to the enactment of the FSIA, with particular reference to the development of the restrictive theory of sovereign immunity. Part III discusses the structure and purpose of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and the expropriation exception. Part IV discusses whether the FSIA is a jurisdictional statute. Part V discusses whether the FSIA is a procedural statute that applies to pre-effective date and pre-1952 conduct without affecting the antecedent rights of the parties. Part VI considers whether the retroactive application of the statute was clearly indicated and intended by Congress, if in fact the application of the FSIA to pre-enactment conduct or to pre-1952 conduct does affect substantive rights of state parties to sovereign immunity under U.S. law. Part VII discusses whether nations implicated in World War II-era war crimes should have expected immunity from prosecution in foreign courts, thus further refuting the claim that retroactive application of the FSIA actually violates substantive rights under customary international law.

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Notes/Citation Information

Michael D. Murray, Jurisdiction Under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act for Nazi War Crimes of Plunder and Expropriation, 7(2) N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol'y 223-286 (2004).

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