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Doe v. Karadzic

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Filed in 1993, Doe v. Karadzic sought compensation for victims and survivors of Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's brutal campaign of genocide and torture in Bosnia. It was an important case that expanded the Alien Tort Statute's use to include suing individuals with command responsibility for human rights abuses.


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.