Alien Tort Statute

Victims of Hamas Bring Suit Related to Campus Protests

Victims of the October 7, 2023, attacks by Hamas have sued two U.S. organizations for violating of Anti-Terrorism Act and the Alien Tort Statute. The nine plaintiffs – U.S. and Israeli citizens – allege that defendants serve as a “propaganda machine,” one that intimidates and recruits “impressionable college students to serve as foot soldiers for…

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Transnational Corporate Accountability Through American Corporate Law

To those who view the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) as a beacon of American justice for foreign victims of corporate misconduct, the landscape looks bleak. In the latest ATS case decided in 2021, the Supreme Court held in Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe that plaintiffs, who were allegedly trafficked as children to engage in slave…

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Ninth Circuit Allows Human Rights Claims Against Cisco to Proceed

There may yet be life in the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). The Ninth Circuit recently held, in Doe I v. Cisco Systems, Inc., that Chinese practitioners of Falun Gong could go forward with claims of aiding and abetting human rights violations against Cisco Systems, which designed and built a surveillance system for the People’s Republic…

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Throwback Thursday: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.

Ten years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., applying the presumption against extraterritoriality to the implied cause of action for human rights violations under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). In Kiobel, the Court began to whittle down the cause of action it had…

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Boston Jury Awards $15.5 Million in a Transnational Human Rights Case

Last month we reported on a sensible decision by Judge Allison D. Burroughs of the District of Massachusetts rejecting a defendant’s vague invocations of international comity as a basis for abstention. That decision cleared the way for trial on the plaintiffs’ claims that the defendant, Jean Morose Viliena, targeted them and their families for extrajudicial…

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Throwback Thursday: Professor William Casto on the Origins of the Alien Tort Statute

In the spring of 1986, Professor William Casto published an article in the Connecticut Law Review entitled The Federal Courts’ Protective Jurisdiction Over Torts Committed in Violation of the Law of Nations. Casto’s article was the first to explore the origins of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) in detail, and despite the many law reviewpages…

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District Court Dismisses Killing Claims Against MBS

Yesterday, the District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge John Bates) dismissed a lawsuit brought by Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN) and the widow of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered by security agents at the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. The plaintiffs sued Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and…

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State Department Recognizes Head-of-State Immunity for MBS

Earlier today, the U.S. State Department recognized that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) is entitled to head-of-state immunity as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia in a case brought by Democracy in the Arab World Now (DAWN) and the widow of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered by Saudi security agents at the Saudi…

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The Case for Attracting Litigation Business to the United States

U.S. state and federal courts routinely and reliably enforce “inbound” forum selection clauses (FSCs)—that is, if a party sues in a U.S. court designated by a contractual forum selection clause, courts will hear the case rather than dismissing on the basis of forum non conveniens.  In a recent post, John Coyle urged federal actors to…

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District Court Dismisses Another Case Against MBS for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

Two weeks ago, while King Salman was appointing Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS) as Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia in an apparent bid to secure him head-of-state immunity in a suit brought by Jamal Khashoggi’s widow, the judge in a different case quietly dismissed another plaintiff’s claims against MBS for lack of personal jurisdiction….

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Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School
ingrid.wuerth@vanderbilt.eduEmail

William Dodge

UC Davis School of Law
wsdodge@ucdavis.eduEmail

Maggie Gardner

Cornell Law School
mgardner@cornell.eduEmail

John F. Coyle

University of North Carolina School of Law
jfcoyle@email.unc.eduEmail

Zachary D. Clopton

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
zclopton@law.northwestern.eduEmail

Matt Slovin

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Noah Buyon

Duke University School of Law
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Will Moon

University of Maryland
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William K. McGoughran

Vanderbilt Law School
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Chimène Keitner

UC Davis School of Law
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Catherine Amirfar

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Justin R. Rassi

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Isabelle Glimcher

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
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Ben Köhler

Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
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Aaron D. Simowitz

Willamette University College of Law
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