UK High Court Rules on Case Involving Alleged US Rendition and Torture: Belhaj v. Straw and Others

The United Kingdom’s High Court today ruled in the case of Abdul-Hakim Belhaj who sued the UK government for its involvement in the alleged US torture and rendition (to Libya) of Mr. Belhaj and his pregnant wife in 2004. The High Court stated that the suit “appears to be a potentially well-founded claim that the UK authorities were directly implicated in the extra-ordinary rendition,” a proposition apparently based, in part, on faxes sent by MI6 and US authorities to Libyan authorities. The court held that the doctrine of state immunity does not bar the claim. The High Court, however, concluded that the claim is barred by the act of state doctrine.

Later today, Just Security’s Ruchi Parekh will have a post explaining the High Court judgment. In the meantime, the full text is available here. 

About the Author(s)

Ryan Goodman

Co-Editor-in-Chief of Just Security, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, former Special Counsel to the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (2015-2016). You can follow him on Twitter @rgoodlaw.