Prof. Cassel says ex-Somali official not immune to torture lawsuits

Author: Susan Good


Notre Dame Professor of Law Douglass Cassel’s amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Samantar v. Yousuf argues that a former Somali leader living in Virginia is not immune to civil lawsuits alleging torture under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).

ABC News quoted Cassel’s brief extensively. Here is an excerpt:

“Cassel points out that there is currently a law — the Torture Victim Protection Act — that authorizes victims of torture to sue perpetrators in U.S. courts for money damages. If FSIA immunized such individuals, Cassel argues, ‘then the 1991 Torture Victim Protection Act would be meaningless.’

“In his brief, Cassel wrote, ‘Because of our national interest in holding human rights violators accountable, immunizing all foreign officials sued for torture and extrajudicial execution is particularly unwise.’”

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