Civil responsibility for gross human rights violations: The need for a global instrument
by Sascha-Dominik Bachmann
ISBN: 978-0-9802658-5-9
Pages: xvii 91
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

This book was written for students, academics and legal professionals who work in the field of human rights and human rights protection. In part A, it investigates the developments under international human rights law with regard to human rights protection, with the overall objective to develop an argument for a future international regime of civil liability for the individual and corporate perpetrator of gross human rights violations. In part B, a proposed convention on individual civil liability is set out and discussed. It provides the reader with a detailed description and analysis of the existing possibilities of establishing civil liability for gross human rights violations at the regional and international scale and concludes with the recommendation that only a merged system of the existing means of human rights protection will ensure effective human rights protection at a global scale.

The book is a shortened and revised version of Sascha-Dominik Bachmann's doctoral thesis, submitted to the University of Johannesburg. Dr Bachmann completed the work while serving as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Johannesburg.

About the editor:

Sascha-Dominik Bachmann is Associate Professor In Law, Bournemouth University.

Table of Contents

Introduction and overview
1 Introduction and overview
1.1 Present systems of monitoring and protecting human rights
1.2 A brief evaluation of the present systems of monitoring and protecting human rights
1.3 Criminal accountability for human rights atrocities
1.4 A brief evaluation of criminal prosecution of human rights atrocities
Part A: Civil accountability for gross human rights violations under international and domestic law
Introduction and overview
Chapter 1 - Civil responsibility of states for human rights atrocities under international law
1 The concept of state responsibility
2 State responsibility for human rights violations
3 The individual as claims holder in cases of state responsibility for human rights violations
3.1 Situation under international law
3.2 Situation under regional treaty law
3.3 Shortcomings
4 Conclusion
Chapter 2 - Adjudicating human rights atrocities
in domestic jurisdictions
1 Introduction
2 Civil liability for human rights atrocities before US courts
2.1 Overview
2.2 The law
2.2.1 The Alien Torts Claims Act
2.2.2 The Torture Victim Protection Act
2.2.3 The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act
2.3 Limitations to US human rights litigation and their exceptions
2.3.1. The Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act
2.3.2. The head-of-state doctrine
2.3.3. The ‘political question’ doctrine
2.3.4. The act-of-state doctrine
2.3.5. The objection of forum non conveniens
2.3.6. Further limitations to US human rights litigation
2.4 The development of human rights litigation in the US
2.4.1 The individual human rights perpetrator: Filartiga v Pena-Irala
2.4.2 The non-state actor: Kadic v Karadzic
2.4.3 States as defendants
2.4.4 Important corporate lawsuits The Wiwa and Unocal cases The Holocaust lawsuits The apartheid lawsuit: In Re South African Apartheid Litigation
2.4.5 Mass torts and class actions
2.5 Conclusion
3 Civil liability for human rights atrocities in other domestic legal systems
3.1 South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
3.2 United Kingdom
3.3 The Federal Republic of Germany
Chapter 3 - Human rights litigation as a deterrent for the commission of future human rights atrocities-the balance sheet
1 Jus cogens violations as part of domestic torts law
2 The advantage of civil remedies in the quest for the protection of human rights
3 The benefits of human rights litigation
Conclusion Part A
Part B: Draft statute on a convention on individual civil liability for human rights atrocities
Introduction and overview

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