43 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2012
Date Written: February 15, 2012
In the case of Samantar v. Yousuf, the United States Supreme Court had to decide whether a former Somali Prime Minister, accused of torturing his own people while in office, should be immune from liability in U.S. courts on grounds of sovereign immunity (in particular, pursuant to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act). The sovereign immunity defense featured prominently in cases brought against former Nazi officials in the wake of the Holocaust, including the landmark Nuremberg and Eichmann trials. Modern international criminal tribunals have also relied on this precedent to reject the sovereign immunity defense for gross human rights violations committed in Rwanda, Darfur and the former Yugoslavia. This amicus brief illuminates the connection between the defense as asserted in the Samantar case and its treatment and rejection in the Holocaust and modern cases.
Keywords: sovereign Immunity defense, atrocities, Holocaust, international criminal law, alien tort statute
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Gordon, Gregory S. and Winner, Sonya D., Samantar v. Yousuf: U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief on Behalf of Holocaust Survivors and Darfur Genocide Groups (February 15, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2006022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2006022