As each day brings new developments in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, one of the questions I've been wondering about is what role, if any, U.S. courts might play in helping to provide accountability for his killing. I'm not holding my breath that this Justice Department would be in a hurry to see if any extraterritorial federal criminal statutes might apply, but the specter of civil relief is, at least at first, more promising. At a minimum, it might put a real crimp on the U.S. travels of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other potential defendants. Perhaps the most intriguing potential remedy is the one provided by the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991. In addition to providing a remedy for torture, the statute also provides an express civil remedy against anyone "who, under actual or apparent authority, or color of law, of any foreign nation … subjects an individual to extrajudicial killing," which the statute defines as "a deliberated killing not authorized by a previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."
Oct-17-2018, 22:31:50 GMT