Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Compagnie Europeenne des Petroles S.A. v. Sensor Nederland B.V. case brief

Compagnie Europeenne des Petroles S.A. v. Sensor Nederland B.V. 
  • US prohibited sales that would support the Soviet pipeline; this affected subsidiaries of US corporations and companies incorporated in Europe and elsewhere
  • Dutch company (subsidiary of a US company) was sued by a French company because the Dutch company did not want to comply with the terms of a contract it made with the French company
    • Dutch company said it was subject to US regulations prohibiting the sale, and would have to pay fines if it complied with the contract (International law comes up in this case through the defense asserted by the Dutch company)
    • The Dutch court seems to assume that the Dutch company might have a valid defense if the US has the jurisdiction to prescribe this law
  • Carefully analysis of bases for jurisdiction
    • There is no choice of law clause in the contract, so then we look to see whether the US has prescriptive jurisdiction
    • Nationality: if Sensor were a US corporation, the US could have regulated it even as it acted outside the US; test for nationality is not determined by ownership interest (as US would argue), but by incorporation and place of registered business, and the Dutch company was incorporated in the Netherlands
    • Protective principle – protective principle does not justify one country’s forcing another country’s companies to advance US foreign policy
    • Territorial (objective) – the court could not see how the export to Russia of goods not originating in the Untied States by a non-American exporter could have any direct and illicit effect in the US
  • Note: remember that the US was indirectly limiting the operation of the French company by limiting the operation of the Dutch company; the connection between the US and the French company is even more tenuous

1 comment:

  1. To what extent should the court be bound by U.S. political policies?


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