International Law Experts File Amicus Brief in Genocide Case Against Jiang Zemin

CHICAGO (FDI) – International law expert Professor Jordan J. Paust filed an amicus brief Monday in U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the appeal filed on January 20 in the suit by Falun Gong practitioners against Jiang Zemin and the Falun Gong Control Office (a.k.a., the “6-10 Office” — about).

The brief (full text) argues that the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew F. Kennelly, which ruled that Jiang Zemin could not be sued because as a head of state he is immune, was wrongly decided. It points out that Jiang Zemin is in fact a former head of state, not a head of state, and there is no immunity for former heads of state.

In an argument dense with citations, the brief demonstrates that no immunity exists for former heads of state under international law; no immunity exists for heads of state for the crimes alleged in the plaintiffs’ brief; no immunity exists for these crimes under Federal treaty law; and no immunity exists under Federal statute law. Finally, the brief argues that the issues in this case are legal in nature and should be decided by the judiciary.

Professor Paust is the Law Foundation Professor of Law and the Director of the International Law Institute at the University of Houston. He has published widely on subjects in international law, is often consulted as an expert in international law, and has served in numerous leadership positions in this field, presently serving as the Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law’s International Criminal Law Interest Group.

Joining Professor Paust in submitting this brief are 13 other academic experts in international law. Included among the co-signers of the brief are:

  • William J. Aceves, Director of the International Legal Studies Program at California Western School of Law
  • Donna Artzt Co-Director of Center for Global Law and Practice of Syracuse University
  • Anthony D’Amato, Leighton Professor of Law, Northwestern University
  • Michael P. Scharf, Director of the International Law Center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Richard J. Wilson, Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the Washington College of Law, American University.

Further amicus briefs by leading experts in international law supporting the case against Jiang Zemin are expected to be filed this week.