In re Iraq and Afghanistan Detainees Litigation

479 F. Supp. 2d 85 (2007)

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In re Iraq and Afghanistan Detainees Litigation

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
479 F. Supp. 2d 85 (2007)

  • Written by Liz Nakamura, JD

Facts

Two groups of Iraqi and Afghani individuals (collectively, the Iraqi and Afghani claimants) (plaintiffs) were detained and tortured in military facilities and prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively, and ultimately released without charges. The Iraqi and Afghani claimants sued the United States (defendant) under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and Geneva Convention IV for violations of international jus cogens prohibitions against torture and cruel-and-inhuman treatment. Specifically, the Iraqi and Afghani claimants argued that (1) the Westfall Act, which typically granted federal employees absolute immunity against tort lawsuits, did not apply to cases brought under the ATS or Geneva Convention IV; and (2) Geneva Convention IV granted individuals a private right of action for violations. The government moved to dismiss, arguing that (a) neither the ATS nor Geneva Convention IV fell within the limited exceptions to Westfall Act immunity; and (b) because Geneva Convention IV is a non-self-executing treaty, it does not grant a private right of action.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hogan, C.J.)

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