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Compétence Civile Universelle Et Droit International Général

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Chapter Summary

Regarded as contributing to the privatisation of judicial enforcement of human rights, the United States Alien Tort Claim Act (ATCA) is by the same token considered as a factor disturbing the international legal order. However, the lawfulness of such exercise of universal jurisdiction in civil matters by American courts has barely been challenged as such by third States, in any event not openly. It is true that judgments delivered on the basis of the ATCA are not directly enforceable outside the territory of the United States. By contrast, the modalities of the implementation of the ATCA have led to more controversial responses in as much as they have revealed a partial erosion of jurisdictional State immunity and a large discretionary power of American judges. Recourse to general international law concerns primarily the issue of jurisdiction with regard to actions instituted on the basis of the ATCA.

Keywords: Alien Tort Claim Act (ATCA); American courts; human rights; international legal order; State immunity; universal jurisdiction



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