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MOL, Inc. v. The Peoples Republic of Bangladesh

736 F.2d 1326 (1984)

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MOL, Inc. v. The Peoples Republic of Bangladesh

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

736 F.2d 1326 (1984)

Facts

In 1977, MOL, Inc. (plaintiff) and a division of the Bangladesh Ministry of Agriculture entered into a contract pursuant to which MOL received a 10-year license to export rhesus monkeys. The contract required MOL to sell the monkeys only for medical and scientific research that would benefit the global population. The contract also required MOL to build a breeding farm for the monkeys in Bangladesh in 1978. In September 1978, MOL delivered some of the monkeys to the United States armed services for radiobiological research. In January 1979, the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh (Bangladesh) (defendant) terminated the contract, claiming MOL had breached the contract by failing to build the breeding farm and by selling monkeys to the United States armed services for purposes other than humanitarian reasons. MOL denied any breaches and sued Bangladesh in a United States district court. Bangladesh did not appear in the lawsuit. Instead, Animal Rights entered an appearance as amicus curiae and moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA). Animal Rights argued that the district court lacked jurisdiction under the FSIA because the contract itself was a sovereign act of Bangladesh. MOL countered that Bangladesh’s conduct in entering into, and then terminating, a contract with MOL was a commercial activity that was exempted from the FSIA. The district court dismissed the case on the basis of the FSIA. MOL appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wright, J.)

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