Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A lawyer analyses Doe v Holy See

Neil Addison at the Religion Law blog, has taken a look at the Supremem Court's refusal to review a decision of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals concerning the possibility of prosecuting the Holy See in the US courts. He concludes that it is not as important as it appears. I give his summary of the court's decision below, but the article contains further details.
  • The Holy See is a Sovereign State under US Law
  • The Holy See can only be sued in the US on the same basis as any Sovereign State and enjoys exactly the same immunity from suit as any other Sovereign State
  • Catholic Diocese and Organisations in the US are not “Agents or Instrumentalities” of the Holy See and the Holy See cannot be held liable for their actions
  • The Holy See can only be sued with respect to the Acts of its “employees” and not for the acts of Catholic Priests etc generally
(Thanks to Karen for correcting my earlier version of this post.)
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