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7 Jun 2011

Lyle Denniston, Scotus Blog [USA]

Major new corporate case at Court [USA]

Lawyers for 12 individuals seeking to hold major oil companies legally responsible for human rights abuses in Nigeria in the 1990s have asked the Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court’s ruling that corporations are immune to such claims in U.S. courts. The new petition, in the high visibility case of Kiobel...v Royal Dutch Petroleum...raises what may be the hottest international law issue now affecting business firms…[T]he new appeal argued: “Corporate tort liability was part of the common law landscape in 1789 and is firmly entrenched in all legal systems today. The notion that corporations might be excluded from liability for their complicity in egregious human rights violations is an extraordinary and radical concept.” [also refers to Shell Transport and Trading, Shell Petroleum Development of Nigeria]