Doe v. Karadzic Historic Case

At a Glance

Date Filed: 


Current Status 

Karadžić appeared in the case until 1997, when he defaulted. In default proceedings, a jury reached a verdict on September 25, 2000 of $4.5 billion.


The civil trial was led by Judith Chomsky, Jennie Green of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Theresa Traber of Traber & Voorhees. The trial team also included Anthony DiCaprio, CCR cooperating attorney Jaykumar Menon, Cynthia Soohoo and Jay Lobel, then of Covington & Burling, Karmen Jelincic, and the Lowenstein Clinic at Yale Law School (with Harold Koh, Ron Slye, Jim Silk, Deena Hurwitz). The case was initially brought by CCR attorneys Beth Stephens, Michael Ratner, and Jennie Green, and Rhonda Copelon with the International Women's Human Rights Law Clinic at the City University of New York School of Law.

Case Description 

In 1993, CCR and co-counsel sued Radovan Karadžić for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – including the campaign of rape and other sexual violence as a form of torture and genocide used against Bosnian women and men.

The complaint was brought under the 1789 Alien Tort Statute (ATS) when Karadžić was in New York raising money and support for Bosnian Serb actions. The ATS, rediscovered by CCR in the landmark 1979 case Filártiga v. Peña-Irala, allows foreigners to sue in U.S. courts for human rights violations committed anywhere in the world and has been instrumental in cases against leaders like Karadžić and corporations like Unocal, Royal Dutch Shell, and Chevron.

Karadžić appeared in the case until 1997, when he defaulted. In default proceedings, a jury reached a verdict of $4.5 billion on September 25, 2000. Read the press release.