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Remembering a Pioneer in Transnational Human Rights Litigation

Author: Marco Simons, EarthRights International, Published on: 12 May 2016

Yesterday, the U.S. human rights law community lost one of its giants. Michael Ratner, who pioneered the use of the Alien Tort Statute for human rights accountability...An obituary in the New York Times details much of Michael's career, including his leadership of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), early work representing inmates at Attica prison in New York, and the more recent fight for the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Michael was part of so many fights, however, that the Times missed a critically important one - his pathbreaking work on transnational human rights litigation. Michael was one of the lawyers who worked on the pathbreaking case Filartiga v. Pena-Irala, the first case to recognize that the Alien Tort Statute could be used to hold abusers accountable for human rights violations.


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