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US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Palestinian Terror-Supporting Arab Bank

Basing its ruling on a technicality, the US Supreme Court ruled that foreign victims of human-rights abuses and terror attacks cannot sue foreign businesses in American courts.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

The US Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that foreign businesses cannot be sued in US courts by foreign victims of human rights abuses and terror attacks, thus blocking a lawsuit by terror victims against the Arab Bank, which allegedly enabled the funding of terrorism.

The justices voted 5-4 in favor of the Jordan-based Arab Bank in a suit by Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism in Judea, Samaria and Gaza from 1995 through 2005. The victims claimed that the bank helped finance the attacks. The victims had tried to use the 18th-century Alien Tort Statute to hold the bank accountable for its role.

“As demonstrated by this litigation, foreign corporate defendants create unique problems. And courts are not well suited to make the required policy judgments that are implicated by corporate liability in cases like this one,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.

The decision continues the court’s paring back a three-decade-old strategy by lawyers to use civil suits to pursue individuals who may be responsible for torture and other atrocities, as well as companies with operations in countries with poor records in the area of human rights.

Victims in the case alleged that the bank, through the involvement of its New York branch, knowingly distributed millions of dollars to finance suicide bombings and make “martyrdom” payments to reward the families of terrorists who killed civilians.

The bank denied the allegations and argued that allowing the victims’ claims to go forward would interfere with US foreign policy and lead to diplomatic friction. Kennedy noted that friction in his opinion, writing, “For 13 years, this litigation has ’caused significant diplomatic tensions’ with Jordan, a critical ally in one of the world’s most sensitive regions.”

The Alien Tort Statute, adopted in part to deal with piracy claims, went unused for most of American history until rights lawyers dusted it off beginning in the late 1970s. The Supreme Court cautiously endorsed the use of the law in 2004, but left unanswered precisely who could be held liable and in what circumstances.

In 2013, the justices ruled that people or entities sued under the Alien Tort Statute must have a real connection to the United States. The court declined to decide whether businesses could be sued.

美国最高法院根据其技术性裁决裁定,侵犯人权和恐怖袭击的外国受害者不能在美国法院起诉外国企业。

由:美联社和世界以色列新闻工作人员

美国最高法院周二裁定,外国企业不能在美国法院受到侵犯人权和恐怖袭击的外国受害者的起诉,从而阻止恐怖主义受害者针对阿拉伯银行提起的诉讼,据称这可以为恐怖主义提供资金。

从1995年至2005年,这些法官在以色列受害者巴勒斯坦恐怖主义分子的犹太,撒马利亚和加沙地区的诉讼中以约5至4投票支持设在约旦的阿拉伯银行。受害者称该银行帮助资助了袭击事件。受害者试图使用18世纪的“外来侵权法”来让银行对其职责负责。

“正如这起诉讼所证明的,外国公司被告产生了独特的问题。法院不太适合在这类案件中作出公司责任所要求的所需政策判断,“安东尼肯尼迪法官为多数人写道。

这一决定继续使法院放弃律师采取民事诉讼以追究可能应对酷刑和其他暴行负责的个人以及在人权领域记录欠佳的国家开展业务的公司的三十年战略。

该案中的受害人称,该银行通过其纽约分行的介入,故意分发数百万美元资助自杀性爆炸事件,并作出“殉难”付款以奖励杀害平民的恐怖分子家属。

该银行否认了这些指控,并认为允许受害者提出索赔会干扰美国的外交政策并导致外交摩擦。肯尼迪在他的观点中指出,摩尔在他的观点中写道:“13年来,这起诉讼与约旦这个世界上最敏感的地区之一的重要盟友”造成了重大的外交紧张关系“。

部分用于处理盗版索赔的外国人侵权法规在大部分美国历史上未被使用,直到维权律师在20世纪70年代后期开始对其进行修缮。最高法院在2004年谨慎地批准使用该法律,但没有回答谁能够承担责任,以及在什么情况下。

2013年,法官裁定根据外国侵权法规定起诉的人或实体必须与美国有真正的联系。法院拒绝决定企业是否会被起诉。

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