On March 27, Professor Chimène Keitner posted to SSRN her recent work on the use of transnational litigation to combat human rights abuses. The article, forthcoming from the Oxford Handbook on Human Rights, explores “bases for asserting jurisdiction in human rights cases and focuses on the development, and limits, of foreign official immunity and foreign state immunity.”
Through transnational litigation, national courts enforce human rights norms “horizontally.” Jurisdictional doctrines and immunity principles both shape the permissible contours of horizontal enforcement. Conflicts may arise between the principles of state sovereignty and non-interference, on the one hand, and the goals of promoting accountability and providing remedies for victims, on the other. The chapter discusses claims against non-state actors including private corporations for committing or assisting human rights violations. While the horizontal enforcement of human rights norms by national courts carries the potential for both salutary and disruptive effects, national courts remain important developers and enforcers of international human rights law.
The chapter is available on SSRN in advance of the publication of the book.