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5 Mär 2012

Joanna Kyriakakis, Castan Centre for Human Rights, Monash Univ. [Australia]

Pirates Incorporated: The US Supreme Court to decide if corporations are liable under the Alien Tort Statute

If the Supreme Court determines that corporations are excluded from the ambit of the ATS [Alien Tort Statute], it is likely to be viewed in the public imagination as evidence that incorporation equals immunity...In questions posed to counsel appearing on behalf of the Companies, Justice Breyer pointed to the hypothetical scenario of Pirates Incorporated to illustrate his concern...To which the respondents’ replied, ‘yes, the corporation would not be liable’...Comments by plaintiff lawyer, Paul Hoffman...after the hearing indicate that, whatever the outcome in this case, they will continue to pursue corporations implicated in human rights abuses through US judicial avenues...While Kiobel may not stop victims from targeting businesses implicated in serious human rights abuses, it will set the parameters for future action. [refers to Shell]