United States v. Palestine Liberation Organization: Continued Confusion in Congressional Intent and the Hierarchy of Norms

This Note concludes that while the court’s rationale is disingenuous and misleading, the final decision was an appropriate reaffirmation of the importance which American jurisprudence places on international obligations. In Part One, this Note discusses whether the dispute resolution provisions of the Headquarters Agreement precluded the district court’s jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter of this case. Part Two examines the constitutional hierarchy of the ATA and the Headquarters Agreement to determine which should govern this dispute. If the court had concluded that it lacked jurisdiction, the case would have been dismissed from the U.S. court system, leaving the parties to settle the dispute in the International Court of Justice. If the court reached the merits and applied the Headquarters Agreement despite the ATA, the PLO office would have remained open. Had the ATA applied, the PLO office would have been closed and the relevant provisions of the Headquarters Agreement would no longer be valid in United States courts.