Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kadic v. Karadžić case brief

Kadic v. Karadžić case brief summary
70 F.3d 232 (1995)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiffs, who were victims and representatives of the victims of atrocities, appealed the dismissal of their action against defendant, the leader of a foreign territory, by the United States District Court for the Southern District of NY, in an action under the Alien Tort Act, and the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiffs, victims and representatives of victims of atrocities, brought an action against the defendant, who was a leader of a foreign territory.
The trial court dismissed the action.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed and held that there was subject matter jurisdiction under the Alien Tort Claim Act, because aliens brought an action for a tort committed in violation of international law. 
  • Genocide, war crimes, torture, and summary execution are against international law and the defendant could have been liable as a private individual. 
  • Although defendant's foreign territory was not recognized as a formal state, it had the trappings of a state, including sovereignty over people and land. 
  • As a result, defendant may have been liable because he was the leader of a de facto government and was acting under color of law when the atrocities occurred. 
  • § 2(a) of the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991 provided for subject matter jurisdiction through the Alien Tort Claim Act. 
  • Even though defendant was a United Nations invitee in the United States, defendant was not immune from service of process. 
  • Plaintiffs' claims were not a non-justiciable political question because of the nature of the claim.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed the judgment for defendant, leader of a foreign territory, and ruled for plaintiffs, victims and representatives of victims of atrocities, because there was subject matter jurisdiction, defendant could have been liable for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in his private or official capacity, and there was no immunity from service of process.

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