At this discussion sponsored by the Open Society Justice Initiative, Matt Eisenbrandt and Moira Feeney, two top lawyers from the San Francisco–based Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA), talked about their work using the Alien Tort Claims Act to sue foreign-born human rights abusers who have settled in the United States. Cases have been brought successfully against Salvadoran generals, a Chilean death squad member, one of the killers of Archbishop Romero, and others. Cases have resulted in financial awards for the plaintiffs (survivors of human rights atrocities) as well as in establishing authoritative records of what happened (much like mini-truth commissions).
The most recent case took place in Manhattan district court, August 29–31, 2006, against Toto Constant, the leader of FRAPH, Haiti's notoriousdeath squad. For more on the case, see the CJAwebsite.
Sandra Coliver, Senior Legal Officer of the Open Society Justice Initiative, introduced the event.