The seminar explores the legal process of responding to historical crimes and other injustices by providing monetary compensation. No international law background is required. Primary attention will be given to the history and development of the Alien Tort Claims Act from 1789 to the present. Specific topics include: (1) the international law background of the eighteenth century, (2) the evolution of the ATS in appellate decisions prior to 2004, beginning with its revival in the surprising Filartiga case (2d Circuit, 1980), (3) the proper reading and interpretation of Supreme Court's decision in Alvarez-Marchain v. Sosa, (4) the predictable application of the Sosa decision in current cases ranging from the use of Agent Orange in Vietnam to the legal implications of the Iraq War, (5) the relevance of tort theory to the ATS, (6) systematic reparations, in particular, after World War I, after the Holocaust, and after the Japanese internment in the United States.
To put the ATCA suits in context, the seminar will also examine some of the other ways in which reparations and restitution have been awarded in recent decades in the U.S. and other countries as part of the settlement of major wars, as well as for human rights violations. Many of the modern cases originate with Germany, and so the course will examine the legacies of both the Versailles Treaty (1919) and the reparations and compensation arrangements that followed World War II. Reparations have been sought in dozens of settings since then. The violators range widely from post-Nazi Germany and Austria, Castro's Cuba, the Soviet Union, and South Africa, to former colonial powers for looting from their colonies, post-colonial regimes for nationalizing the property of Europeans, divided and reunited Germany, and dictators around the world. Another country that has paid for its offenses is the United States, most importantly for the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans. As for the forms of looted property or wrongdoing or loss which have been litigated, they include improperly seized real estate, artwork, Swiss bank accounts, interrupted education and careers, forcible detention, torture and slave labor, unconsented medical experimentation, forced prostitution and sterilization, and illegal occupation (by Iraq, of Kuwait). The seminar will examine both the theory and applications of this new, broad area of litigation and statutory programs, and its intersection with the uniquely American ATCA and related lawsuits.
Section Offerings for 2012-13
|L9832-001||12F||Human Rights Reparations Under Domestic and International Law|
|J. Bush||T 6:20 PM-8:10 PM||WNHL 304|
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