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Norway: Supreme Court Rules It Has Universal Jurisdiction over Foreigners’ Prior Terrorist Acts Abroad

(July 16, 2020) On June 26, 2020, the Norwegian Supreme Court ruled that Norwegian courts may exercise universal jurisdiction over crimes of terrorism and that foreigners may thus be sentenced in Norway for terrorism crimes they committed before arriving in the country. (Supreme Court Decision Case No. HR-2020-1340-A.) Facts of the Case The defendant, a […]

United States: Supreme Court Rules Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism May Recover Punitive Damages under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

(June 2, 2020) On May 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Republic of Sudan could be held liable for $4.3 billion in punitive damages related to state-sponsored acts of terrorism that occurred in 1998. (Opati v. Republic of Sudan, No. 17-1268 (May 18, 2020).) Case History In 1998, al-Qaida orchestrated simultaneous […]

United States: Appellate Court Orders Dismissal of Palestinian Suicide Bomb Case on Procedural Grounds

(May 27, 2020) On April 14, 2020, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determined that civil claims against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (the Palestinian defendants) by victims of a suicide bombing could not withstand a procedural challenge to personal jurisdiction. (Shatsky v. Palestine Liberation Org., No. 17-7168, […]

United States: Supreme Court Dismisses Claims Against Border Patrol Agent for Constitutional Violations in Cross-border Shooting Death

(Mar. 31, 2020) On February 25, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a 5–4 opinion holding that a U.S. Border Patrol agent was not liable for claims of Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations stemming from a cross-border shooting death of a 15-year-old Mexican national. (Hernández v. Mesa, No. 17-1678 (Feb. 25, 2020).) Case History In […]

United States: Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Determining Child’s Country of Habitual Residence, Affirms Return of Child to Italy

(Mar. 5, 2020) The U.S. Supreme Court recently endorsed a “totality of the circumstances” test for determining a child’s habitual residence under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention). The Court also held that a trial court’s determination of habitual residence is entitled to deferential appellate review and should […]

International: International Finance Corporation Faces Renewed Lawsuits Regarding Financing for Coal-fired Power Plant in India

(Feb. 27, 2020) Following last year’s landmark win in their case before the U.S. Supreme Court, the plaintiffs in Jam v. International Finance Corporation (IFC) are still searching for remedy—and legal clarity—in their lawsuit regarding environmental damages caused by the construction and functioning of the Tata Mundra Plant in India. The search for remedy has […]

American Samoa: Court Rules Individuals Born in American Samoa Enjoy Birthright United States Citizenship

(Feb. 24, 2020) In December 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Utah issued a memorandum decision finding that individuals born in American Samoa enjoy birthright United States citizenship under Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment. (Fitisemanu v. United States, No. 18-36 (D. Utah Dec. 12, 2019) (Fitisemanu) (order granting summary judgment).) […]

Norway: Supreme Court Finds Passive Father Responsible for Aiding and Abetting Mother’s Physical Abuse of Children

(Dec. 30, 2019) On November 27, 2019, the Norwegian Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of a man for aiding and abetting the gross abuse of a dependent by neglecting to protect the children from their abusive mother, and increased the sentence from two years and six months’ imprisonment to three years’ imprisonment. (Norwegian Supreme Court, […]

Germany: Federal Court of Justice Rules on Legal Tech

(Dec. 23, 2019) On November 27, 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), Germany’s supreme court for civil and criminal cases, held that the services provided by the company Lexfox, which is registered as a legal services provider for collection services, did not violate the German Legal Services Act. The decision was highly […]