In Re Human Rights Litigation Against the Estate of Ferdinand Marcos – International Human Rights and Solidarity – CCR Docket 1994-1995

In a class action brought in the federal district court in Hawaii, a jury found the Estate of Ferdinand Marcos, the late dic­tator of the Philippines, liable for the deaths, disappearances and torture of thousands of Filipinos during his regime.

During the damages phase of the action, human rights organizations in the Philippines, which had stimulated  the initiation of the lawsuit and helped provide much of the evidence, believed that the procedures proposed for notifying the victims were grossly inadequate to enable them to file timely claims for damages.

Twenty-three human rights organizations, whose membership included a majority of the potential claimants, requested that CCR file a motion for limited intervention in the damages phase in order to give them a voice to ensure that the maximum number of victims would be able to participate in the award of damages.

Although the court denied CCR’s motion to intervene, the court did adopt procedures which provided for an expanded role for human rights organi­zations to notify their constituencies. A total of 9,138 claims forms have been received by the court, close to the esti­mate  of 10,000 victims made by the human rights organizations.

Michael Ratner, Beth Stephens, Jennifer M. Green, and Mahlon Perkins, Jr.