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Abstract

This Note examines the split among the federal circuit courts regarding the application of agency principles to claims of foreign sovereign immunity. Specifically, a minority of courts have applied the doctrine of apparent authority in determining whether a sovereign is bound by the acts of its agents. The majority of courts have, however, declined to apply the doctrine, holding that only actual authority is sufficient to bind sovereigns to their agents’ acts. This Note examines the policy ramifications of the minority view through the lens of sovereign debt litigation, especially those conducted by so-called vulture funds, and ultimately concludes that the minority view should be explicitly disregarded via congressional revision of the statutory scheme governing claims of foreign sovereign immunity.

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