Claims of Dual Nationals in the Modern Era: The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal

This Note will discuss the considerations, implicit in the Tribunal’s opinion, that support substituting the doctrine of dominant and effective nationality for the rule of state nonresponsibility in cases involving claims of dual nationals. Part I of this Note briefly examines the traditional framework of diplomatic protection and demonstrates that the policies supporting the doctrine of state nonresponsibility are anachronistic and that strict adherence to them leads to inequitable results. Part II argues that the doctrine of dominant and effective nationality is the preferred standard for determining the status of dual national claims. At the core of this doctrine is the modern concept that nationality constitutes more than a tenuous legal bond. Part III concludes with a review of the most recent treatment of claims of dual nationals – those submitted to the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal. These claims demonstrate the need to replace the traditional doctrine of state nonresponsibility with the dominant and effective nationality approach.