Alien Tort Claims Act



This information is from a letter to The Nation, July 21/28, 2003, from Ralph Steinhardt, George Washington University Law School.

"..the Alien Tort Claims Act--has been used for more than twenty years to sue individuals responsible for egregious human rights abuses...

"A case against Radoan Karadzic.. provided a transition toward corporate accountability, when the court held that.. corporate entities--can be held liable for human rights abuses committed in complicity with government officials...

"In certain circumstances, the statute can also be used against U.S. government officials and hired guns, which has triggered outrage in the Bush Administration. Recently the Ninth Circuit held that a Mexican doctor kidnapped from Mexico by the Drug Enforcement Administration on suspicion of involvement in the murder of a DEA agent was entitled to damages for arbitrary arrest and detention...

"..Bush's people at Justice also oppose all uses of the statute, insisting that our courts should have no role in providing relief for victims of human rights abuses."


Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS