Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law


John T. Parry

First Page



This Article examines the role of courts in controlling state violence in the United States and Israel. The Author considers how U.S. federal courts should respond to illegal state violence by comparing a U.S. Supreme Court case, "City of Los Angeles v. Lyons", with a case decided by the Supreme Court of Israel, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel v. Israel. Part II highlights the legal issues that were central to each court in reaching a decision, including standing, the scope of equitable discretion to craft remedies, and baseline attitudes towards illegal government action. Part III examines the doctrines discussed in Part II, and considers whether expanding or altering these doctrines would strengthen the ability of U.S. courts to respond to illegal state violence. In Part IV, the Author examines the differences in the roles and powers of the U.S. and Israeli courts in an effort to address the relationship of U.S. and Israeli courts to state violence. The Author argues that despite the greater formal power enjoyed by the U.S. Supreme Court compared to the Israeli Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court may have less flexibility to enforce civil rights.