Human Rights Litigation

Cert Petition Raises Personal Jurisdiction Question in Context of the TVPRA

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) explicitly authorizes extraterritorial application to six predicate offenses (18 U.S.C. § 1596) and creates a private right of action (18 U.S.C. § 1595). Assuming without deciding that § 1595’s civil remedy extends extraterritorially to the same extent as those six predicate offenses, the Ninth Circuit in Ratha v….

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Does the TVPRA Apply Extraterritorially? Thoughts on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Amicus Brief in Doe v. Apple

As the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly limited the scope of the implied cause of action under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), victims of human rights abuses have looked to other U.S. statutes for remedies. One of these is the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), which creates a civil remedy against perpetrators and others…

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District Court Dismisses Another Case Against MBS for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

Two weeks ago, while King Salman was appointing Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia in an apparent bid to secure him head-of-state immunity in a suit brought by Jamal Khashoggi’s widow, the judge in a different case quietly dismissed another plaintiff’s claims against MBS for lack of personal jurisdiction….

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MBS’s Appointment as Saudi Prime Minister Gives Him Head-of-State Immunity

On Tuesday, King Salman appointed Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia. The appointment makes MBS Saudi Arabia’s head of government, thereby entitling him to “head of state” immunity under U.S. law and customary international law. The appointment comes just days before an October 3 court deadline for the U.S….

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Using TLB to Teach Foreign Relations Law

This post discusses Foreign Relations Law as part of our series explaining how professors can use resources on TLB to teach various classes. Previous posts have discussed Transnational Litigation, Civil Procedure, International Business Transactions, and Conflict of Laws. Although TLB focuses on litigation, and although Foreign Relations Law classes cover many topics that are rarely litigated, there is…

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Is MBS Entitled to Head of State Immunity?

Editor’s Note: This article also appears in Just Security. In 2018, Saudi security agents brutally murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation. In 2020, Khashoggi’s widow and a non-profit organization that he helped found sued MBS and…

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Throwback Thursday: The Human Rights of Foreign Sailors

Litigation in U.S. courts involving gross misconduct committed outside the United States by non-U.S. actors did not begin with the revival of the Alien Tort Statute in the 1980s. In the earlier era of global trade that centered around maritime commerce, U.S. admiralty courts at times remedied—often with moral outrage—wrongs committed on the high seas….

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Has the Alien Tort Statute Made a Difference?

In a globalized and interconnected world, human rights litigation has, by necessity, become transnational. For decades, the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) was viewed as a beacon of American justice for foreign victims of human rights violations. However, a series of Supreme Court decisions—most recently the paired cases of Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe and Cargill,…

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Section 230 and the Presumption Against Extraterritoriality

The Ninth Circuit opinion in Gonzalez v. Google (2021) raises important questions about how the presumption against extraterritoriality applies to immunity defenses invoked by social media companies under 47 U.S.C. § 230.Section 230 shields internet companies from civil liability for user-generated content hosted on their platforms. Gonzalezholds, effectively, that there is no conceivable application of…

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A Primer on Human Rights Litigation

Modern human rights law developed in response to the events of the World War II, although it has earlier precursors. In 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a non-binding declaration. More than seventy human rights treaties followed, including the Genocide Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,…

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Benjamin Hayward

Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School
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Rajat Lal

Faculty of Law, Monash University
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David Landau

Florida State University College of Law
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Matt Hornung

Cornell Law School
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Katie Burghardt Kramer

DGW Kramer LLP
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Tanya Monestier

University at Buffalo School of Law
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Jeanne Huang

University of Sydney Law School
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Mark Weidemaier

University of North Carolina School of Law
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Mitu Gulati

University of Virginia
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Pamela K. Bookman

Fordham University School of Law
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