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Act of State Doctrine

Definition

An American doctrine which provides that every sovereign state is bound to respect the independence of every other sovereign state in governing its internal affairs, and that the courts of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another which are done within its own territory. Redress of grievances caused by such acts must be obtained through the means open to be availed of by sovereign powers as between themselves. The doctrine was held in Banco Nacional De Cuba v. Sabbatino (1964) to prohibit United States courts from examining the validity of a taking of property within its own territory by a foreign sovereign government, in the absence of a treaty or other unambiguous agreement regarding controlling legal principles, even if the complaint alleges that the taking violates customary international law.   

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