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Filartiga v. Peña-Irala

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
630 F.2d 876 (1980)


Facts

Filartiga (plaintiff), a Paraguayan national and relative of decedent, a seventeen-year old Paraguayan, brought a wrongful death suit in federal district court against Peña-Irala (defendant), the Inspector General of the police. Filartiga alleged that Peña-Irala tortured decedent to death. Failartiga alleged the torturous conduct resulting in the wrongful death violated international customary law. Jurisdiction for the federal district court was based on the Alien Tort Statute, which provides that “district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” The case was appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kaufman, J.)

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