NGOs & trade union urge US Supreme Court to provide access to justice to foreign victims in Arab Bank lawsuit over alleged complicity in financing terrorism

Get RSS feed of these results

جميع مكونات هذه القصة

مقال Article
+ English - إخفاء

الكاتب: Amy Howe, SCOTUS Blog (USA)

“An introduction to the Alien Tort Statute and corporate liability: In Plain English”, 24 Jul 2017

…[O]n October 11, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case brought by victims of terrorist attacks…under the Alien Tort Statute [ATS], a federal law that gives federal courts jurisdiction over “any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States”.

…[P]laintiffs [have] increasingly relied on the ATS as the basis for lawsuits filed in U.S. courts…against multinational corporations for their role in “aiding and abetting” human-rights violations…[I]n Jesner v. Arab Bank[,] the plaintiffs…contend that Arab Bank “violated the law of nations insofar as it financed terrorism…”. In their view…the history and purpose of the ATS…reinforce that the ATS applies equally to corporations…[S]enators emphasize that the ATS is the only avenue for civil lawsuits “against financial entities that use U.S. operations to aid terrorist attacks on foreign nationals overseas.”

…Arab Bank counters that …U.S. law does not allow corporations to be held liable in similar areas of the law…The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups echo…the bank’s arguments against corporate liability…

إقرأ كامل المنشور هنا

مقال Article
+ English - إخفاء

الكاتب: Center for Constitutional Rights

The Center for Constitutional Rights [CCR] and the International Federation for Human Rights [FIDH] submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in Jesner v. Arab Bank in defense of the Alien Tort Statue (ATS) as a critical legal tool to hold corporations accountable for egregious human rights violations…the [ATS]…allows non-U.S. citizens to sue…when their cases “touch and concern” the U.S….CCR and FIDH made the following statement:

["]The [CCR] and the [FIDH] submit that the unequivocal answer to the question of whether corporations may be held accountable for human rights abuses under the [ATS] is yes...

[b]ut we…express concern that the framing of [this] case…risks limiting the application of the ATS to cases with sounding in “terrorism” or “national security,”…rather than maintaining it as a broad, essential legal tool for defending human rights…

Jesner is an opportunity for the Supreme Court to affirm to the lower courts that the ATS must be applied in a way consistent with international human rights law…["]

إقرأ كامل المنشور هنا

مقال Article
+ English - إخفاء

الكاتب: Marco Simons, EarthRights International

In a case called Jesner v. Arab Bank, the Supreme Court will again consider whether corporations can be sued for serious violations of international law.

Jesner involves allegations that the defendant, Arab Bank, supported international terrorism by financing suicide bombings in Israel and making "martyrdom" payments to the families of deceased bombers. 

American victims of these attacks already won a jury trial against Arab Bank, in which the bank was found liable for violating the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. But foreign victims need to proceed under the ATS instead, and their claims were dismissed. The trial court applied the original Kiobel I ruling that said that corporations cannot be sued under the ATS.

A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit affirmed this dismissal, but recognized that Kiobel I had been widely criticized...

Yesterday, ERI filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that of course corporations can be sued...

We'll be watching this case closely as it develops; it's likely to be argued sometime this fall. We hope the Supreme Court will finally correct the Second Circuit's mistake in Kiobel I. There is simply no sense in a rule of corporate immunity for terrorism, genocide and torture - the most powerful economic actors in the world should not be given free reign to finance and profit from the worst abuses...

إقرأ كامل المنشور هنا

مقال Article
+ English - إخفاء

الكاتب: Center for Constitutional Rights & International Federation for Human Rights

[Full text of the amici curiae brief by the Center for Constitutional Rights and International Federation for Human Rights arguing that:

1) the Alien Tort Statute ["ATS"] must be interpreted and applied in line with fundamental human rights principles;

2) general principles of law affirm the viability of the ATS to address serious human rights violations by corporations; and

3) because it applies broadly to all corporate actors, the ATS must not be interpreted in a way that preferences national security interests or the remediation of alleged terrorist acts]

إقرأ كامل المنشور هنا

مقال Article
+ English - إخفاء

الكاتب: International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) & Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Today...[three organizations] filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the petitioners in Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, which is scheduled to be heard at the United States Supreme Court in the fall. The case will determine whether the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) can provide an avenue to deliver justice to victims of corporate harms. The ATS permits non-Americans to sue for international human rights abuses...

[They] argue that the increased role and power of corporations in modern society requires the establishment and enforcement of clear rules around their behavior, including their operations abroad. The brief further argues that when corporations have harmed the public, victims must have access to justice...

Not only is the ATS an important vehicle to deliver justice to victims, the brief outlines that accountability under the ATS is also vital to protecting investors from the legal, reputational, and operational risks stemming from corporate involvement in human rights violations...

إقرأ كامل المنشور هنا

المادة item
+ English - إخفاء

الكاتب: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) & Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Given the increased role and power of corporations in modern society, clear rules for their behavior, including their behavior abroad in countries that lack functioning judiciaries, must be established and enforced. Corporate liability under the ATS not only reflects Congressional intent but is also in the best interests of both the public and investors.

…[C]orporate liability under the ATS is required to ensure access to remedy for victims of violations of customary international law and to ensure that corporations respect those international standards. In particular, corporate liability under the ATS is necessary to encourage good corporate behavior and to protect individuals located in countries…where the capacity of the judiciary, law enforcement institutions, and other actors may be weak or under threat. Denying liability not only leaves a vacuum in which corporations can act to breach international legal standards, but it also creates perverse incentives, including encouraging the creation of corporate entities to minimize or evade liabilities…

Corporate liability under the ATS is also vital to protecting investors from the legal, reputational, and operational risks stemming from corporate complicity in violations of customary international law…

Given that most corporations comply with the law, foreclosing liability under the ATS would permit bad corporate actors to take advantage of their law-abiding competitors by violating customary international law with little up-front risk, giving these bad actors an advantage when competing with compliant enterprises for investment funds…

إقرأ كامل المنشور هنا