JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Traffic Stream (BVI) Infrastructure Ltd., 536 U.S. 88, 8 (2002)

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INFRASTRUCTURE LTD. Opinion of the Court

seems especially reasonable when such a corporation is engaged in an international transaction, since the United Kingdom acts on the BVI's behalf in the international arena. See 6 Halsbury, Laws of England ¶ 983, p. 471 (4th ed. 1991) ("Her Majesty's government in the United Kingdom is internationally responsible for the external affairs of United Kingdom dependent territories"); see also United Nations Act, 1946, c. 45 (empowering the Crown to bring "His Majesty's dominions" into compliance with directives of the United Nations Security Council).


The Second Circuit nonetheless takes the position that the relationship between the United Kingdom and its territories is "too attenuated" for the United Kingdom to be viewed as a governing authority for purposes of the relationship assumed by 1332(a)(2). Matimak Trading Co., 118 F. 3d, at 86. This, of course, depends upon the statute's objective.

Both during and after the Revolution, state courts were notoriously frosty to British creditors trying to collect debts from American citizens, and state legislatures went so far as to hobble British debt collection by statute, despite the specific provision of the 1783 Treaty of Paris that creditors in the courts of either country would "meet with no lawful impediment" to debt collection. Definitive Treaty of Peace, United States-Great Britain, Art. IV, 8 Stat. 82. See Holt, "To Establish Justice": Politics, the Judiciary Act of 1789, and the Invention of the Federal Courts, 1989 Duke L. J. 1421, 1438-1449. Ultimately, the States' refusal to honor the treaty became serious enough to prompt protests by the British Secretary of State, particularly when irked by American demands for treaty compliance on the British side. See 31 Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, pp. 781-784 (J. Fitzpatrick ed. 1934).

This penchant of the state courts to disrupt international relations and discourage foreign investment led directly to the alienage jurisdiction provided by Article III of the Con-

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