Saturday, January 22, 2005

September 11 Civil Suit Against Saudi Arabia Dismissed

Although this judgment was released a few days ago, it is still worth noting that a federal district court in New York this week issued a ruling in a mammoth civil suit by family members of September 11 victims against various entities for the attacks. The most important defendant to be dismissed on the grounds of sovereign immunity are various elements of the government of Saudi Arabia, which is alleged to have helped finance the attacks. The legal significance of this decision is likely to be its important interpretations of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. I thought I would just note that it also casually endorsed the somewhat controversial "aiding and abetting" theory of liability for violations of international law that is at the heart of many Alien Tort Statute lawsuits against corporations. The decision will of course be appealed. (Thanks to Roger Alford for the heads up on this case).

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