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7 Immunity, 7.9 OSS Nokalva, Inc. v European Space Agency, United States Third Circuit decision, 617 F.3d 756 (3d Cir. 2010)

Kristen Boon

From: Judicial Decisions on the Law of International Organizations

Edited By: Cedric Ryngaert, Ige F Dekker, Ramses A Wessel, Jan Wouters

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 02 June 2023

Immunity from jurisdiction — Membership of international organizations — International organizations, practice and procedure — Responsibility of international organizations — Judgments

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected the long-held assumption that international organizations are entitled to absolute immunity under the domestic International Organizations Immunities Act (‘IOIA’). The legal question raised by this case is: does the language of the IOIA allow for the incorporation of subsequent changes to sovereign state immunity thereby conferring a restrictive, not absolute, immunity upon international organizations? The court applied the same concept of restrictive immunity to international organizations as has been developed and applied to sovereign states. This case has important implications for the evolution of immunities of international organizations over time.

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