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DC Circuit rules that CACI is immune from suit alleging torture

PHOTO: Manuel Balce Ceneta -- Associated Press

PHOTO: Manuel Balce Ceneta -- Associated Press

In case you missed this. the Washington Post reports:

A federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit Friday against CACI International that accused the firm’s employees of taking part in the torture and abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

In a 2 to 1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed the case on the grounds that CACI should be immune from prosecution because the company’s employees were under U.S. military authority.

“During wartime,” wrote Judge Laurence H. Silberman, “where a private service contractor is integrated into combatant activities over which the military retains command authority, a tort claim arising out of the contractor’s engagement in such activities shall be preempted.”

The decision reversed a lower court’s ruling in March that the company must face a lawsuit filed by former detainees who claim that they were tortured at the detention center near Baghdad.

The full opinion of the court can be found here.

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Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.