July 14, 2011
Jay Brown: Corporate Liability for Human Rights Violations Heading to Supreme Court?
The D.C. Circuit's recent decision holding corporations could be sued for human rights violations under the Alien Tort Statute has received quite a bit of attention recently. Here's some of Jay Brown's take (you can read his entire post here):
The Alien Tort Statute allows suits to be brought in US courts for violations "of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” 28 U.S.C. § 1350. The statute has sometimes been used against US companies for allegedly aiding and abetting human rights violations by foreign governments.... [However, there] is a serious split among the circuits.... [Were the Supreme Court to address the split, it would provide] another opportunity, much like Morrison, for the conservative majority to potentially cut back on the use of US courts by foreign nationals, despite the existence of a statute that expressly provides the authority.