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Preparing And Filing A Manageable Case

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reviews litigation issues particular to human rights lawsuits from the initial development of a case through the filing and service of the complaint. It focuses on the common factors involved in preparing a case under any of the statutes, although the emphasis is on the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA). Human rights claims are likely to be originated by human rights victims or their family members, or through investigations triggered by human rights activists or lawyers. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure incorporate a flexible approach to complaint drafting, requiring only that a complaint give fair notice of the claims asserted against the defendant. As human rights cases wind their way slowly through the federal courts, individual defendants have ample time to move their assets out of the United States, to protect themselves against an eventual judgment.

Keywords: Alien Tort Statute (ATS); federal courts; human rights victims; Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA)



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