In the last twenty-five years, U.S. human rights advocates have increasingly turned to international law to hold human rights violators accountable in U.S. courts. In particular, civil suits based on the Alien Tort Statute and the Torture Victim Protection Act against human rights violators who live in, visit, or, in the case of corporations, do business in, the United States, have been one of the most effective means of enforcing international law in U.S. courts.
This Article focuses predominantly on cases arising out of the Bosnian war of 1992-95 and is designed as a broad survey of the variety of ways in which advocates in the United States have attempted to employ international law arguments. It discusses and assesses the impact of efforts to date to hold accountable (a) foreign individuals and governments; (b) the U.S. government and agencies, officials, and contractors working with the government; and (c) multinational corporations. Finally, it discusses some of the opportunities and challenges facing advocates in this area in the future.