In the case of Pierre Konowaloff, Paris, France, v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, New York, Pierre Konowaloff alleges that the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired, displayed and retained a piece of art that was confiscated by the Russian Bolshevik regime from his great-grandfather in 1918. After gaining power in 1917, the Bolshevik regime issued decrees nationalizing property, and abolishing the private ownership of land and making museums property of the state. The Bolsheviks continued by confiscated artworks for possible sale abroad. In May 1933, Stephen C. Clark was a trustee of the Museum bequeathed the painting to the Museum after he died in 1960. The Museum of Art motioned to dismiss Konowaloff’s complaint, citing that the claims are barred by the act of state doctrine. Rules of the Law(s) Applied to the Case
The law applied in this case was the act of state doctrine, which states, “local courts may not question the legal effect of a foreign state’s acts fully executed within its own territory” (US Legal, 2013). Therefore, the court dismissed the action against Metropolitan Museum of Art. Analysis: How the Court Applied the Law
The United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit applied the act of state doctrine to this case because the art work was confiscated from Konowaloff’s family by the Bolshevik regime in Russia. Hence the act of state doctrine states that no other nation is sovereign within its own borders, and its domestic actions may not be questioned (US Legal, 2013). Therefore, the court concluded that the Museum had met its burden of showing that the act of state doctrine applies and affirmed the judgment.
The United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit found in favor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art because Konowaloff’s contentions were without merit, and found that the act of state doctrine applied in the case. Application of Laws
Team A discussed the case of Pierre Konowaloff, Paris, France, v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, New York, and concluded that the act of state doctrine could be applied to various managerial settings. The team decided to use the following examples where this law can be useful. Latoria states that the act of state doctrine applied to this case can be described in a managerial setting as an employee, employed by an international company. The company was started in the United States of America. The company expands internationally and the employee is sent to another country to work. While there the employee files suit against the company for various reasons he or she may find to be unlawful. The case will have to be heard in the native country of the plaintiff and different statues will apply. In cases such as this the state of doctrine will apply. Shakira concluded that the decree can be applied to a managerial setting in which Susan, a U.S. citizen, goes on a business trip to Canada and is sexually harassed. The first time the corporate manager in Canada comes on to her, she disregards his advances but after he touched her in an inappropriate manner she decided to file a complaint. When the woman returned to the United States she filed a lawsuit against the manager of the company. In this situation, under the Act of State doctrine the United States cannot override Canadian laws, and therefore Canada’s statute will be applied.
In the case of Pierre Konowaloff, Paris, France, v. The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, New York,, Team A determined that there were a number of examples that can be applied in a managerial setting in regards to act of state doctrine. After discussing the case, Team A concluded that the above examples are applicable to the act of state doctrine where a nation is sovereign within its own borders, and its domestic actions may not be questioned in the courts of another nation (US Legal, 2013).
US Legal. (2013, Dec). The Act of State Doctrine Article. Retrieved from http://actsofstatelaws.uslegal.com/theact-of-state-doctrine-article/