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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The Alien Tort Claims Act, or Alien Tort Statute (ATS), codified as part of the First Judiciary Act, originally provided that the federal courts shall “also have cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the several States, or the circuit courts, as the case may be, of all causes where an alien sues for a tort only in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” To ATS lawyers, accountability is a critical factor in the search for justice. This book examines the development of transnational litigation in the United States through a case study of Filartiga v. Pena-Irala. It accepts the legitimacy of the Filartigaprecedent and supports transnational litigation as a tool for promoting human rights. The book allows readers to review the documents and the history of the litigation and make their own determination about its legitimacy and effectiveness.

Keywords: accountability; alien tort statute (ATS); Filartiga precedent; transnational litigation

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