Archive for the ‘Bouzari v. Iran (Islamic Republic)’ Category

My New Article in the Canadian International Lawyer

October 21, 2011

I have published a new article in the latest issue of the Canadian Bar Association’s Canadian International Lawyer journal entitled, “Adjudicating International Human Rights Claims in Canada”, (2011), 8(3) Cdn. Int. Lawyer 117-133. Here is the abstract:

This article addresses the issue of the privatization of justice and whether a social contract model is appropriate in disputes affecting the public interest, if one accepts the premise that international human rights claims fall under the rubric of “public order” or public interest. The article then explores the implications of promoting a social contract model for advancing and adjudicating international human rights claims in Canada against corporate and state actors, both from the perspective of litigation and arbitration. It concludes with an overview of recent federal legislative reforms relating to state-sponsored terrorism and international human rights standards.

A pdf copy of the article is available for download here.

Corporate Liability under International Law: U.S. and Canadian perspectives

January 10, 2011

On September 17, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit released its decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum ,(06-4800-cv, 06-4876-cv). In a 2-1 split decision, the Court ruled that the Alien Torts Statute (ATS) grants U.S. courts jurisdiction over alleged violations of international law by individuals only, not by corporations. Essentially, the majority opinion held that corporations cannot be sued under the ATS for violations of customary international law because “the concept of corporate liability . . . has not achieved universal recognition or acceptance of a norm in the relations of States with each other.”  (Slip op. at 49).

*Warning: This is a lengthy post (more…)

Besner and Attaran on Canada’s State Immunity Act

May 18, 2010

Jennifer Besner (McGill University School of Law student) and Amir Attaran (University of Ottawa: Faculties of Law and Medicine) have a new post on SSRN entitled: Civil Liability in Canada’s Courts for Torture Committed Abroad: The Unsatisfactory Interpretation of the State Immunity Act 1985 (Can), Tort Law Review, Vol. 16, pp. 150-167, 2008. Here is the abstract:

The Canadian case of Bouzari v Iran (Islamic Repubilc) (2004) 243 DLR (4th) 406 is illustrative of the problems that common law state immunity statutes pose in providing victims of torture with the acces to civil remedies to which they are entitled under international law. An analysis of international legal developments including judgments that reinforce universal civil jurisdiction, as well as the duties flowing from the jus cogens designation of the prohibition on torture, suggests that in order to comply with Canada’s international law obligations and enable victims to enforce their rights, the State Immunity Act 1985 (Can) must be amended.

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