Extracurricular International Criminal Law

In: International Criminal Law Review
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  • 1 Transnational Law Institute, Washington and Lee University, USA

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This article unpacks the jurisprudential footprints of international criminal courts and tribunals in domestic civil litigation in the United States conducted under the Alien Tort Statute (ats). The ats allows victims of human rights abuses to file tort-based lawsuits for violations of the laws of nations. While diverse, citations to international cases and materials in ats adjudication cluster around three areas: (1) aiding and abetting as a mode of liability; (2) substantive legal elements of genocide and crimes against humanity; and (3) the availability of corporate liability. The limited capacity of international criminal courts and tribunals portends that domestic tort claims as avenues for redress of systematic human rights abuses will likely grow in number. The experiences of us courts of general jurisdiction as receivers of international criminal law instruct upon broader patterns of transnational legal migration and reveal an unanticipated extracurricular legacy of international criminal courts and tribunals.

  • 1

    28 u.s.c. § 1350 (2012). The ats is also known as the Alien Tort Claims Act (atca) or Alien Tort Act (ata).

  • 100

    Ventura, supra note 48, p. 546 (‘There was no substantive engagement or analysis’ of the reasoning in Doe viii or Presbyterian Church).

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