Doe v. Karadzic Historic Case

At a Glance

Current Status 

Karadzic appeared in the case until 1997, when he defaulted. In default proceedings, a jury reached a verdict of $4.5 billion on September 25, 2000.

Date Filed: 

1993

Co-Counsel 

The civil trial was led by Judith Chomsky, Jennie Green of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Theresa Traber of Traber & Voorhees. The trial team also included Anthony DiCaprio, CCR cooperating attorney Jaykumar Menon, Cynthia Soohoo and Jay Lobel, then of Covington & Burling, Karmen Jelincic, and the Lowenstein Clinic at Yale Law School (with Harold Koh, Ron Slye, Jim Silk, Deena Hurwitz). The case was initially brought by CCR attorneys Beth Stephens, Michael Ratner, and Jennie Green, and Rhonda Copelon with the International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic at the City University of New York School of Law.

Case Description 

In 1993, CCR and co-counsel sued Karadzic for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – including the campaign of rape and other sexual violence as a form of torture and genocide used against Bosnian women and men.

The complaint was brought under the 1789 Alien Tort Statute (ATS) when Karadzic was in New York raising money and support for Bosnian Serb actions. The ATS, rediscovered by CCR in the landmark 1979 case, Filártiga v. Peña-Irala, allows foreigners to sue in U.S. courts for human rights violations committed anywhere in the world and has been instrumental in cases against leaders like Karadzic and corporations like Unocal, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron.

Karadzic appeared in the case until 1997, when he defaulted. In default proceedings, a jury reached a verdict of $4.5 billion on September 25, 2000.Read the press release.