FP Misdescribes TVPA Lawsuit Against Mahinda Rajapaksa
Like many readers, I never miss FP’s online “Morning Brief,” which provides links to numerous interesting international developments. It’s an incredibly useful and erudite feature — which is why I was so surprised to see the following headline this morning:
A U.S. court dismissed charges against the president of Sri Lanka for war crimes.
Um, no. The case did not involve war crimes charges against Rajapaksa; the court dismissed a civil lawsuit against Rajapaska under the Torture Victims Protection Act 1991 (TVPA) on the ground that the TVPA recognizes head of state immunity. That’s a pretty big difference — especially as international tribunals have never recognized head of state immunity for international crimes. (Domestic courts, of course, are a different story.)