Supreme Court Slams Door on Corporate Liability under the Alien Tort Statute

I previously wrote about the case of Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, which asked whether corporations can be liable under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), 28 U.S.C. §1350.  Victims of human rights violations in foreign nations (including terrorism) had made successful claims under the ATS against individual people, but the viability of such claims against corporations was a question left undecided by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Recently, the Court answered that question with a resounding “no.”  200 L. Ed. 2d 612 (2018). The Court explained that the ATS, an obscure statute from 1789, “was intended to promote harmony in international relations by ensuring foreign plaintiffs a remedy for international law violations in circumstances where the absence of such a remedy might provoke foreign nations to hold the United States accountable. . . .  But here, and in similar cases, the opposite is occurring.”  Id. at 635.  The…

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