Bill to Ensure Victims of Human Rights Abuses Get Their Day in Court Moves on to Senate (AB 15)

Press Release posted 5/18/15 – Assemblymember Chris Holden’s (D-Pasadena) bill to expand the time limit for filing human rights claims from two to ten years in cases of torture, war crimes, genocide and human trafficking was unanimously approved in the Assembly Thursday. AB 15 extends the statute of limitations to bring California law into line with federal law

“Current California law favors abusers because of the short window for filing claims,” said Assemblymember Holden. “Under California law, the time limit for filing is too short because gathering evidence prior to bring a human rights case is often difficult and time-consuming. And victims suffer mental and physical problems that prevent them from filing quickly. Because of that, many of these crimes are never prosecuted and the abuse continues.”

Additionally, this bill would revive eligible claims finally allowing victims of the Holocaust, Armenian Genocide, and other historic incidences of egregious human rights violations, to seek a remedy for the abuse they suffered.

“This bill is a chance to truly make history and secure justice for those who need it most,” said Amanda Werner, Legal and Policy Fellow with International Corporate Accountability Roundtable. “We look forward to this important measure becoming law.”

AB 15 is supported by a number of local, national and international human rights advocates including Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), American Jewish World Service, Amnesty International, Consumer Attorneys of America, EarthRights International, International Corporate Accountability Roundtable and Oxfam.