Thanks to a once-obscure law passed in 1789, foreign victims of foreign human rights abusers can use U.S. courts to sue their abusers. But the Supreme Court may soon ban such suits. That would be a shame, since they offer victims some measure of solace and give substance to underenforced human rights laws. The law should be upheld, and other countries should follow the U.S. lead.
The International Criminal Court looks set to begin its first-ever trial involving a case of child soldiers in the Congo, while in neighboring Uganda, calls for the Court to drop its indictments have called its authority into question.
Former Liberian president and strongman Charles Taylor has been taken to Sierra Leone under UN custody to face war crimes proceedings. His case will be watched closely on a continent where predatory leaders are rarely held accountable for their crimes.
Speakers: John B. Bellinger III and David J. Scheffer Presider: Jeffrey Toobin
Ambassador David Scheffer and former State Department legal adviser John Bellinger discuss how international justice over the last two decades has affected international politics, including the U.S. role in assisting local war crimes prosecutions in Libya and elsewhere.
David Kaye, executive director of the international human rights program and director of the international justice clinic at the UCLA School of Law, discusses his Council Special Report, Justice Beyond the Hague, with students.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.