Washington Law Review


The effect of tribal sovereign immunity on business transactions is difficult to predict, despite the doctrine's often dramatic importance. Unlike the sovereign immunities of state, federal, and foreign governments, the scope of tribal immunity is not defined by statute. Some courts have applied the doctrine in a manner that is contrary to federal Indian law and policy. The resulting unpredictability hampers tribal economic development. This Comment proposes a federal tribal immunity statute that would affirm the general principles of the common law and explicitly immunize all entirely tribal-owned enterprises whether operating on- or off-reservation.

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