International Law Outline


Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic



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Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic – D.C. Cir. 1984 (330-31)

  1. PLO members took civilian Israelis, Americans, Dutch out of cars, shot, tortured and murdered them. Victims filed suit in federal district court under ATS

  2. Court DISMISSED complaint for lack of jurisdiction

  3. BORK Concurring

    1. Dismisses idea that federal common law provides cause of action for violations of int’l law

      1. Federal common law – rule that is non-statutory and non-constitutional

        1. Doesn’t necessarily include international law. More, historical stuff like common law of contract and tort, which itself affords right of action.

        2. Not recognizing that “customary int’l law” might be common law. Why limit to “traditional common law”?

      2. Inadvisable to expand – judiciary should stay out of international law – state and political question doctrine.

  4. Congress – does not take this distinction up – passes TVPA (1991)

    1. Remember, Congress could get rid of ATS at any moment, because NOT constitutional – it’s statutory.

  • Other circuits – 2nd, 9th, 11th – found ATS provided cause of action


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