Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



The time has come to extend the national approach that has been used successfully to dismantle the infrastructure of hate groups to the international realm against terrorist groups. The foundation of this approach is a private right to a cause of action apart from any military or diplomatic efforts by the government. In this Article, Professor Strauss analyzes case precedents under several federal statutes--the Antiterrorism Act of 1991, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, the Torture Victim Protection Act, the Alien Tort Claim Act--as well as state common-law tort claims, including aiding and abetting liability. Professor Strauss proposes an aggregate model for lawsuits by victims against terrorist groups, organizations, and state sponsors of international terrorism, combining these claims and the types of damages and defendants accessible. Professor Strauss also outlines important tools for plaintiffs in the civil battle against terrorism by exploring the obstacles to and avenues for enforcement of these judgments through the rule of international law and access to the frozen assets of terrorist states and organizations.