District Court Concludes that Extraterritoriality of the TVPA Is To Be Determined Based on Location Where Forced Labor Allegedly Occurred and Where Persons Were Allegedly Trafficked

The World in U.S. Courts: Spring 2015 - Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA)/Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (ADEPA)/Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA)

David v. Signal [I], U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, January 9, 2015

In one of a pair of opinions issued in this case, the U.S. District Court in New Orleans declines to determine whether amendments to the TVPA providing for extraterritorial application of the statute were retroactive, because the complaint alleged a U.S. domestic violation that did not implicate extraterritoriality. The plaintiffs asserted that the defendant engaged in unlawful acts inside and outside the U.S. to cause Indian citizens to be trafficked into the U.S. to work for the defendant. The District Court concluded that the focus of the inquiry as to the geographic location of a violation was where the forced labor occurred, and the country to which persons were trafficked, and that both factors pointed to a U.S. violation not requiring the exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction.

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