Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2nd Circuit Dismisses Alien Tort Suit Charging Catholic Orders With Human Trafficking

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed an Alien Tort Statute suit brought against several Catholic religious orders charging human trafficking,  In Ellul v. Congregation of Christian Brothers, (2d Cir., Dec. 8, 2014), the Second Circuit concluded that the Supreme Court's decision last year in the Kiobel case holding that the Alien Tort Statute does not apply extraterritorially requires dismissal of most of plaintiffs' claims.  The remainder must be dismissed on statute of limitations grounds. The suit alleged "shocking violations of internationally accepted norms." As described by the court:
Plaintiffs’ claims stem from an alleged “child migration” program undertaken in the aftermath of World War II.  As part of the scheme, the purpose of which was to populate Australia with “pure white stock” from Britain and “working boys” from Malta..., defendants allegedly took plaintiffs away from their families as children, falsely told them that their parents had died or abandoned them, and transported them to Australia, where plaintiffs and other children were made to work essentially as slaves, for long hours without pay, and were subjected to extreme physical and, in some cases, sexual abuse.