Legal Buzz April 18, 2012: US Supreme Court Rules Torture Victim Protection Act Applies Only to Individual, Not Organizations in Azzam Mohamad Rahim v. Palestinian Authority

LEGAL BUZZ


COURT AND LEGAL NEWS:

Justices Limit Suits Under Law On Torture

Source: NYT, 4-28-12

In the case of an American killed in the West Bank, the Supreme Court found that only “individuals” could be sued….READ MORE

Full Text of Case Opinion: 4/18/12 – Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority

Supreme Court says torture victim law applies only to people, not organizations

Source: WaPo, 4-18-12

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that a federal law that allows torture victims to sue their overseas assailants does not permit suits against corporations or political groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The justices said the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991 authorized lawsuits only against individuals responsible for torture and killing.

“The text of the TVPA convinces us that Congress did not extend liability to organizations, sovereign or not,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the united court.

“There are no doubt valid arguments for such an extension. But Congress has seen fit to proceed in more modest steps in the act, and it is not the province of this branch to do otherwise.”…READ MORE

IN FOCUS: US SUPREME COURT RULES TORTURE VICTIM ACT APPLIES TO INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE NOT ORGANIZATIONS

Supreme Court says torture victim law applies only to people, not organizations: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that a federal law that allows torture victims to sue their overseas assailants does not permit suits against corporations or political groups such as the Palestine Liberation Organization…. – WaPo, 4-18-12

  • US top court limits who can be sued under torture law: The US Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a complaint filed against the Palestinian Authority by relatives of an American citizen allegedly tortured in a West Bank prison. The unanimous decision by the nine-member panel effectively…. – AFP, 4-18-12
  • Justices Say Palestinian Authority Can’t Be Sued Over Torture: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the family of an American citizen killed during a visit to the West Bank may not sue the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization under a 1991 federal law…. – NYT, 4-18-12
  • Torture victim’s family can’t sue PLO for damages, Supreme Court says: US Supreme Court, in a narrow reading of a federal anti-torture law, ruled Wednesday against a son who sought redress from the PLO and Palestinian Authority for the death of his father, a US citizen, during a visit to the West Bank…. – CS Monitor, 4-18-12
  • Supreme Court: PLO, corporations can’t be sued under torture law: Foreign political organizations like the Palestinian Liberation Organization and multinational corporations cannot be sued for the torture or murder of persons abroad, including Americans, under the terms of a 1991 US anti-torture law…. – Chicago Tribune, 4-18-12
  • Organizations Can’t Be Sued For Torture, High Court Rules: The US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that organizations cannot be sued for the torture under the Torture Victim Protection Act. The decision came in the case of Azzam Mohamad Rahim, who immigrated to the United States in the…. – NPR, 4-18-12
  • High court limits suits under torture victim law: The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that organizations may not be sued for claims they aided in torture or killings abroad under a law aimed at helping torture victims. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the court’s opinion…. – BusinessWeek, 4-18-12
  • Supreme Court: torture law applies only to people: The Palestinian Authority and PLO cannot be sued under a 1991 US victim protection law over the alleged torture of an American in a West Bank prison, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, holding that the law only applies to…. – Baltimore Sun, 4-18-12
  • A Supreme Typo: On Wednesday, the Supreme Court reminded us that diction matters, unanimously ruling that by using the word “individual” rather than “person,” a federal statute limited liability for torture committed overseas to individuals…. – WSJ, 4-18-12
  • Supreme Court Says Torture Victim Can’t Sue Palestinian Authority: The family of a Palestinian American killed while in the Palestinian Authority’s custody cannot sue the organization, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday morning. Azzam Rahim, a naturalized American citizen, was visiting the West Bank…. – Huff Post, 4-18-12
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