declaration in future suits. Plaintiff is concerned that two courts have now concluded that the Warsaw Convention applies to Taiwan. Atlantic Mut.; Lee v. China Airlines Ltd., 669 F. Supp. 979 (C.D. Cal. 1987). CCNAA evidently fears that Northwest will persuade other courts to accept that view. Concern over the contents of future judicial opinions, however, is not the basis for a controversy. Opinions are the byproducts rather than the stakes of litigation. Atlantic Mut., 24 F.3d at 961.
At present there is merely a disagreement without injury. Any injury caused by the Atlantic Mut. decision is moot--that case is no longer active. Any future claims which might arise are not ripe for review. Even if such claims presently exist, they must be addressed in the applicable jurisdictions, and not here in the District of Columbia. An attempt by this Court to decide them would represent a wholly unwarranted example of judicial overreach. CCNAA argues that such claims represent controversies capable of repetition but escaping review because CCNAA is unlikely to discover the claims until after a decision has been rendered. This misses the mark. Such claims are not escaping review. Plaintiff is simply losing the opportunity to add its input. It is, however, not the Court's function to flag such cases so plaintiff can avoid its obligation to monitor legal developments around the United States.
With or without plaintiff's intervention, the cases in other jurisdictions will proceed to judgment.
B. CCNAA's standing to bring suit.
The Court notes that in addition to the problems noted above, CCNAA lacks standing to bring this action. The Supreme Court articulated the test for whether a plaintiff has standing in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61, 119 L. Ed. 2d 351, 112 S. Ct. 2130 (1992). It held that (1) plaintiff must have suffered an "injury in fact," (2) there must be a causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of, and (3) it must be likely that the injury will be redressed by a decision in plaintiff's favor. Id. The burden of establishing these three elements falls upon the party invoking federal jurisdiction. Id. CCNAA believes that it meets the first prong of this test because it seeks relief for injuries it suffered as sovereign, and for injuries to its people whom it represents as parens patriae.
See Support Ministries v. Village of Waterford, 799 F. Supp. 272, 278 (N.D.N.Y. 1992) (valid parens patriae claim satisfies "injury in fact" standing requirement) Assuming arguendo that this is true, plaintiff must still meet the other elements of standing. We conclude that CCNAA cannot meet the requirement of Lujan's third prong that the likelihood exists that the injury will be redressed by a decision in plaintiff's favor.
The relief plaintiff seeks here is a declaratory judgment. Two criteria ordinarily relied upon to determine whether a court should, in its discretion, grant a declaratory judgment are: (1) whether the judgment will "serve a useful purpose in clarifying the legal relations in issue" or (2) whether the judgment will "terminate and afford relief from the uncertainty, insecurity, and controversy giving rise to the proceeding." President v. Vance, 200 U.S. App. D.C. 300, 627 F.2d 353, 364 n. 76 (D.C. Cir. 1980); see also Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201. Plaintiff suggests that
it is hard to imagine a more pervasive harm to the people who live on Taiwan than the acceptance of the principle that the laws that should apply to them are laws chosen by a government in which they have no representation that is a Communist dictatorship.
Supplemental opposition, p. 7. However, this Court is powerless to remedy this harm in a meaningful way. We are not the general arbiters of treaties such as the Warsaw Convention. Nor is any decision by this Court binding on any other court or the parties in any other case. Were we to side with plaintiff on the merits, any future court would be entirely free to disregard our decision and once again hold that Taiwan is a province of the PRC. All CCNAA can hope to secure from this Court is a "gag order" preventing Northwest from asserting the applicability of the Warsaw Convention in future cases. Issuance of such an order would be inappropriate. There is no standing in this case since the Court cannot redress plaintiff's alleged injury.
The Court is without jurisdiction to consider the merits of this action. Jurisdiction is lacking both because there is no case or controversy pending, and because standing is absent since the Court lacks authority to redress the alleged injury. Defendant Northwest's motion to dismiss is granted.
An order in accordance with this opinion has been issued this date.
Date: July 6th, 1995.
JOHN H. PRATT
United States District Judge
Upon consideration of defendant Northwest Airlines' motion to dismiss, plaintiff's opposition and supplemental opposition, and defendant's reply and sur-reply, it is this 6th day of July, 1995, hereby
ORDERED that defendant's motion to dismiss the amended complaint is granted; and it is
ORDERED that this case is dismissed.
JOHN H. PRATT
United States District Judge