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Alien Tort Statute

224 Years After the Judiciary Act, the U.S. Must Not Become a Safe Haven to Modern Pirates

Katie Shay | Posted 11.26.2013 | Politics
Katie Shay

The Alien Tort Statute (ATS), all but ignored for almost the first 200 years of its existence, states that federal district courts "shall also have cognizance, ... of all causes where an alien sues for a tort only in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States."

20 Years Later, Shell Hopes Supreme Court Will Endorse 'Business As Usual'

Katie Redford | Posted 04.27.2013 | World
Katie Redford

This Supreme Court has already ruled that companies have a First Amendment protected right to purchase elections. Now it should recognize that when corporations are granted the same rights as human beings, they must also be endowed with the same responsibilities.

Arrrr! Shell Tries to Plunder Human Rights

Katie Redford | Posted 11.19.2012 | World
Katie Redford

Shell's lawyers actually argued to the Supreme Court that a hypothetical company -- Pirates Incorporated -- should not be held accountable for their crimes, because, you guessed it, they're a corporation.

Will $21 Million Somalia Judgment Be the Last of Its Kind?

Katie Redford | Posted 10.30.2012 | World
Katie Redford

This week, a group of Somalians subjected to torture and other human rights abuses by the Somalian regime received a measure of justice before a U.S. federal district court. This year, will the U.S. Supreme Court allow such cases to continue?

This American Right: On Genocide and the Supreme Court

Ray Brescia | Posted 08.22.2012 | Politics
Ray Brescia

Congress created this right, and it has served to promote principals of international justice for over two centuries. The Supreme Court must not now render the statute worthless by gutting its most important, and most powerful, component.

Supreme Court to Re-hear Kiobel v. Shell, Focus on Extraterritoriality

Katie Redford | Posted 05.05.2012 | Politics
Katie Redford

It looks like the Supreme Court may not decide the corporate liability issue this year after all.

Mike Sacks

Supreme Court Expands Corporate Human Rights Case, Avoids Corporate Liability Question | Mike Sacks | Posted 03.05.2012 | Politics

The Supreme Court on Monday afternoon took the unusual action of ordering reargument in the case heard last week that has been brought against a multi...

Supreme Court Appears Divided on Whether to Grant Corporations Immunity From Human Rights Suits

Katie Redford | Posted 05.05.2012 | Politics
Katie Redford

Several news stories and blog posts suggest that the Supreme Court is prepared to grant corporations immunity from human rights lawsuits. That was not a conclusion I thought could be easily drawn after the hearing.

Supreme Court: Are Corporations Liable for Aiding and Abetting Crimes Against Humanity?

Valerie Brender | Posted 04.29.2012 | World
Valerie Brender

Whatever happens with the Kiobel decision, it will be a watershed moment for corporate accountability.

Welcome to the Corporatocracy, Where Life Is Nasty, Brutish and Short

Thom Hartmann | Posted 04.29.2012 | Politics
Thom Hartmann

The Supreme Court is set to hear a case that could give corporations the power to commit genocide with no consequences. The High Court has agreed to ...

Corporate Crime and Punishment

Arvind Ganesan | Posted 04.29.2012 | Politics
Arvind Ganesan

Should corporations have immunity for human rights abuses? Today, the Supreme Court hears arguments in a case that will decide whether corporations will be exempted from a crucial law that allows foreign victims of serious human rights abuses to sue them in US courts for civil damages.

Mike Sacks

Supreme Court Looks Ready To Grant Corporate Immunity In Human Rights Case | Mike Sacks | Posted 02.28.2012 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning appeared divided along party lines, with a conservative majority ready to hold that corporations ca...

Mike Sacks

Corporate Personhood Case Forces Justices To Hack New Path | Mike Sacks | Posted 02.28.2012 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument on whether corporations, like real people, can be held liable in American ...

Mike Sacks

Supreme Court Debates Again Whether Corporations Are People | Mike Sacks | Posted 12.16.2011 | Politics

This article is in collaboration with The Dylan Ratigan Show's "Mad As Hell" series. WASHINGTON -- A multinational oil company will be coming to th...

Mike Sacks

9th Circuit Widens Court Split Over Suing Corporations | Mike Sacks | Posted 12.25.2011 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Corporations can be held liable in U.S. courts for human rights violations committed abroad, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circu...

Corporate Executives: Get Ready for a Billion Dollar Lawsuit

Ben Kerschberg | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
Ben Kerschberg

A recent court decision being hailed as the end of the multi-billion dollar Alien Tort Statute litigation industry is anything but, as plaintiffs' cross-hairs will simply shift from corporations to the individuals who serve them.

Speaking Hypothetically: What to Do When a PMC Tortures

David Isenberg | Posted 05.25.2011 | Business
David Isenberg

Let's just suppose for a moment, speaking hypothetically, that a private military contractor engaged in acts of torture. I write "hypothetically" beca...

The Hypocrisy (and Holes) in U.S. Torture Laws

Valerie Brender | Posted 05.25.2011 | World
Valerie Brender

What happens when a country with a strong constitutional and statutory history of bringing torturers to justice suddenly discovers that its officials were the perpetrators?

Coca-Cola Co. Denies Involvement in Murder and Rape, Blames "U.S. Judicial System"

Eric Michael Johnson | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Eric Michael Johnson

Coca-Cola has long marketed itself as synonymous with American values. But after recent allegations that it covered up acts of murder and rape at a Guatemalan subsidiary, Coca Cola may face up to justice.

Bowoto v. Chevron: Approaching the Arguments

Scott Gilmore | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Scott Gilmore

Why do police negotiators generally refuse to pay ransom for hostages? To do so would actually encourage more kidnappings by providing an incentive to would-be kidnappers.

Bowoto v. Chevron: The Oil Men and the Juju Man

Scott Gilmore | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Scott Gilmore

What happens when an oil company gets its back to the wall in a human rights lawsuit? Like a cornered hound, it goes on the attack.