Ellul v. Christian Brothers, No. 11-1682 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit against defendants under, inter alia, the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), 28 U.S.C. 1350, alleging that defendants took plaintiffs away from their families as children, falsely told them that their parents had died or abandoned them, and transported them to Australia. Plaintiffs' claims stem from an alleged "child migration" program undertaken after World War II as a part of a scheme to populate Australia with "pure white stock" from Britain and "working boys" from Malta. Plaintiffs and other children were made to work essentially as slaves for long hours without pay and were subject to extreme physical and, in some cases, sexual abuse. In light of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., the court held that plaintiffs' claims under the ATS for violations of international law that occurred in Australia, except for human trafficking, must be dismissed as extraterritorial applications of the ATS. As for the human trafficking claim, plaintiffs' claim is barred by the statute of limitations. The court rejected plaintiffs' remaining arguments and affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint.