The Paradoxical Feminist Quest for Remedy: A Case Study of Jane Doe v. Islamic Salvation Front and Anouar Haddam

In: International Criminal Law Review
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  • 1 Professor of Law and Arthur L. Dickson Scholar, Rutgers School of Law – Newark, Newark, NJ, USA

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Abstract

This article analyses Jane Doe v. Islamic Salvation Front et al., an Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) case brought in the United States by the late Rhonda Copelon, a leading feminist international lawyer. Bennoune explores the experiences of the Jane Doe plaintiffs, exposing the limited legal avenues that were available to them at the time. She finds that Copelon's creative ATCA litigation strategy embodied a symbolic, feminist act in the paradoxical quest for justice, armed with the knowledge that it would likely become a losing battle. The article ultimately shows that the ACTA litigation, even if unsuccessful in the end, recognised that non-state actors can harm human rights, and provided a powerful avenue for expressing plaintiffs' grievances when no other court would hear them.

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