Can Ukranians Seek Justice in U.S. Courts? …. Yes.

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War Crimes —   Any remedies for Ukrainians in U.S. courts? Can they sue in federal courts for compensation? Really interesting questions. Not discussed very much if at all. Such litigation raises a host of complex issues of sovereign immunity, human rights, federal jurisdiction, foreign affairs, national security, sanctions, frozen assets, presidential authority, among others. But the answer may very well be ‘yes.’ The foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, the Alien Tort Statute and other federal legislation come into play. These statutes may well provide standing by aggrieved individuals and relatives against both Russia and individual Russians for acts of torture, terrorism and violation of international human rights. Yes, a lot of work for litigators and international lawyers. This highlights the often overlooked role of domestic courts as an instrument of enforcement of customary international law, especially war crimes and violation of human rights. This is all for the good. I’m sure this will be explored many times over for years to come.

About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (Schar School of Public Policy).
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