The Special Court for Sierra Leone has convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor of eleven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He is the first former head of state to be tried and convicted by an international tribunal. … Read more »
Ken and Ben have recently commented on the national security speeches of Obama Administration officials, including most recently the remarks of CIA General Counsel Stephen Preston. As a former Bush Administration official who would like to encourage more bipartisanship on … Read more »
The Supreme Court just released — only seven weeks after oral argument — its decision in Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority. In an opinion by Justice Sotomayor, the Court unanimously holds that, as used in the Torture Victim Protection Act, … Read more »
I join Ben’s praise for the Attorney General’s speech.
The Administration has done a good job in the speeches by Harold Koh, Jeh Johnson, John Brennan, and now the Attorney General in laying out a comprehensive and reasonably detailed explanation … Read more »
In a surprising development, less than a week after last Tuesday’s oral argument in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, the Supreme Court has ordered the case to be rebriefed and reargued to address the extraterritorial application of the Alien … Read more »
On February 29, Judge Kollar-Kotelly of the District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit brought under the Torture Victim Protection Act against President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, based on a Suggestion of Immunity filed on January 13 … Read more »
In her news roundup for last Friday, Ritika briefly mentioned that a drone strike had killed four al-Shabab militants in Somalia.
The New York Times had also cursorily mentioned the strike in this short AP report on page A5 of … Read more »
The narrow question presented in the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum case is whether corporations may be held liable for violations of international law under the Alien Tort Statute. But during this morning’s Supreme Court argument, Justices Kennedy, Roberts, and … Read more »
The Kiobel case will be argued next Tuesday before the Supreme Court. I have an op-ed in today’s Washington Post (headlined in the print edition “A Noble Cause That Goes Too Far”) about the foreign policy tensions caused by extraterritorial … Read more »
The Governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have filed amicus briefs in support of Shell Oil in the Kiobel case, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether corporations may be held liable under the Alien … Read more »
On Friday, December 30, while much of the world, human rights groups, and the press were out on holiday, the State Department without fanfare submitted the fourth U.S. periodic report required under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights … Read more »
The Obama Administration filed an amicus curiae brief today with the Supreme Court in support of the Nigerian petitioners in the Kiobel case (which was brought against Shell Oil, relating to its activities in Nigeria), arguing that corporations may be … Read more »
Matt Waxman (who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs from 2004 to 2005) and I have written a short article for the Council on Foreign Relations expressing concern about the detainee provisions of the NDAA, based … Read more »
The 31st Quadrennial Conference of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent closed on Thursday in Geneva with the adoption of a resolution inviting the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to study whether existing international humanitarian law … Read more »
Five years ago today, in remarks at the London School of Economics, I provided a comprehensive public statement of the U.S. Government’s views of the international legal framework applicable to the U.S. conflict with al Qaida, informed in part … Read more »
Adding to this year’s judicial cornucopia of Alien Tort Statute decisions on corporate liability, on Tuesday an en banc Ninth Circuit released its long-awaited decision in the even longer-running (eleven years!) Rio Tinto case, ruling that the ATS does not … Read more »
The Supreme Court has granted cert in the Kiobel case, in which the Second Circuit held last fall that corporations may not be held liable for violations of the “law of nations” under the Alien Tort Statute. As I have … Read more »
This belated report just in by slow boat: In a brief filed on August 29, the Justice Department asserted immunity on behalf of President of Rwanda Paul Kagame in an Alien Tort Statute suit brought against Kagame in federal court … Read more »
Here is an op-ed I have written for Monday’s Washington Post on the likely international reaction to the killing of al-Awlaki.
With respect to US law, I have noted previously that if Congress becomes concerned about the targeted killings of … Read more »
Adding to the flurry of recent Alien Tort Statute appellate decisions, on Monday the Fourth Circuit issued its opinion in Aziz v. Alcolac, an ATS and TVPA suit brought by Iraqi Kurds against a US company that had supplied … Read more »
Britain amended its universal jurisdiction law last week to require private individuals who seek arrest warrants for foreign government officials for human rights offenses to obtain the consent of Britain’s director of public prosecutions. Previously, a British magistrate could issue … Read more »
A federal court in Washington ruled on Thursday that former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe enjoys residual immunity from being forced to testify as a witness in an Alien Tort Statute/Torture Victims Protection Act suit against Drummond Company. (Uribe had been … Read more »
On August 30, the Eleventh Circuit decisively dismissed a classic lawfare lawsuit — an Alien Tort Statute suit brought against the former President and former Defense Minister of Bolivia (Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and Jose Carlos Sanchez Berzain) in connection … Read more »
Last Friday, a British appellate court — the England and Wales High Court — issued an unusual decision that creates a further chink in the immunity of foreign government officials from criminal prosecution for their official acts and that could … Read more »
No sooner had I posted my comment on Monday about the DC Circuit’s Alien Tort Statute decision in the ExxonMobil case than the Seventh Circuit issued its own decision on the question of corporate ATS liability in Flomo v. Firestone … Read more »
On Friday, the DC Circuit held, in a 2-1 panel decision in Doe v. ExxonMobil, that corporations may be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute, creating a decisive circuit split with the Second Circuit’s decision in Kiobel last … Read more »
While everyone has been focused on Libya war powers over the last few days, the DC Circuit issued an interesting opinion on Tuesday in an Alien Tort Statute suit (Ali Shafi v. Palestinian Authority) against the Palestinian Authority … Read more »
Ken and Ben have noted the Administration’s continuing and puzzling failure to explain the legal justifications for the killing of Bin Laden.
As someone who was in the Situation Room on 9-11, I have special reasons to agree that justice … Read more »
In my initial post on the White House statement regarding Article 75 of Additional Protocol I, I said I assumed that the statement means that the Administration intends to apply Article 75, as a matter of law, to the Al … Read more »