International Law

Volume 89.1
Foreign Dictators in U.S. Court
Diego A. Zambrano
Associate Professor, Stanford Law School.

This Article received an honorable mention in the national 2021 Association of American Law Schools Scholarly Papers Competition, awarded on a blind basis by a committee of established scholars. For thoughtful comments and conversations, I thank Pam Bookman, Curtis Bradley, John Coyle, William Dodge, Robin Effron, Maggie Gardner, Tom Ginsburg, Manuel Gómez, Aziz Huq, Erik Jensen, Chimène Keitner, Michael McConnell, David Sklansky, Beth Van Schaack, Allen Weiner, Ingrid Wuerth, and participants at the Junior International Law Scholars Association conference. I am most grateful to Mackenzie Austin and Chris Meyer for invaluable research assistance and also thank Alice Bishop, Nitisha Baronia, and Mathew Simkovits for their help.

The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the court-created “act of state” doctrine, and other common-law immunities shield foreign officials and governments from most lawsuits. For instance, courts have dismissed claims against China, Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia over allegations of torture, detentions, and election interference. Yet foreign governments have unfettered access to U.S. courts as plaintiffs. And foreign dictatorships—including Russia, China, Turkey, and Venezuela—have leveraged this access to harass political dissidents, critics, and even newspapers in the United States. These doctrines create an asymmetry at the heart of this Article: foreign dictators and their proxies can access our courts as plaintiffs to harass their opponents, but their regimes are, in turn, immune from lawsuits here. This Article exposes that asymmetry and argues that U.S. courts and Congress should make it harder for foreign dictators to abuse our legal system.

The Comparative Constitutional Law of Presidential Impeachment
Tom Ginsburg
Leo Spitz Professor of International Law and Ludwig and Hilde Wolf Research Scholar, The University of Chicago Law School.

For helpful discussions, the authors thank Joshua Braver, Yoav Dotan, Roberto Dalledone Machado Filho, Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, Sabrina Ragone, Jeong-In Yun, and participants at the ICON-S Conference in Santiago, Chile, July 2019, as well as workshops at Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Chicago Law School, University of Maryland Carey School of Law, NYU School of Law, Vanderbilt Law School, and the University of California-Berkeley School of Law. Thanks to Young Hun Kim for providing useful data and to Kali Cilli and Delhon Braaten for research assistance.

Aziz Huq
Frank and Bernice N. Greenberg Professor of Law, The University of Chicago Law School.
David Landau
Mason Ladd Professor and Associate Dean for International Programs, Florida State University College of Law.
The president must go! Thus rings the call across many democracies, including our own.
War Manifestos
Oona A. Hathaway
Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law, Yale Law School

We thank Drew Adan, Alison Burke, Ann-Marie Cooper, Clément Dupuy, Jason Eiseman, Sarah Kraus, Evelyn Ma, John Nann, Michael VanderHeijden, and especially Ryan Harrington, who hunted down, translated, and analyzed manuscripts, manifestos, archival materials, and rare books from libraries and collections all around the world, and Theresa Cullen for her leadership of the Yale Law School Library, without which this project would not have been possible. We are grateful to Stuart Shirrell for his assistance with the data analysis. We are indebted to our research assistants, who brought to the project outstanding legal research skills, analytical expertise, and extraordinary language skills, including Classical Chinese, Latin, French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, and Ottoman Turkish: Nico Banac, Jacob Bennett, Perot Bissell, Johannes Buchheim, Varun Char, Idriss Fofana, Jade Ford, Ole Hinz, Michelle Huang, Sameer Jaywant, Aubrey Jones, Tobias Kuehne, Ling-wei Kung, Steve Lance, Ji Ma, Gregor Novak, Pedro Ramirez, Britta Redwood, Bonnie Robinson, Elisa Ronzheimer, James Rumsey-Merlan, Daniel Schwennicke, Ingmar Samyn, Mary Ella Simmons, David Stanton, Evan Welber, and Thorsten Wilhelm. We also thank participants in the Vanderbilt Law School works-in-progress workshop and Yale Law School faculty workshop for their immensely helpful feedback.

William S. Holste
Associate, Shearman & Sterling LLP
Scott J. Shapiro
Charles F. Southmayd Professor of Law and Philosophy at Yale Law School
Jacqueline Van De Velde
JD, Yale Law School, 2017
Lisa Wang Lachowicz
Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

The UN Charter provides that states are prohibited from the “threat or use of force” against other sovereign states.

Book review
Courts of Good and Ill Repute: Garoupa and Ginsburg’s Judicial Reputation: A Comparative Theory
Tracey E. George
Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Chair in Law and Liberty and Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University.
G. Mitu Gulati
Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law.

The authors thank the twenty-one judges in the Duke Judicial Studies LLM program (2016–17), Tom Ginsburg, and Jack Knight for comments. Susanna Rychlak provided excellent research assistance.

I.  The Core Claim