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18 Jul 2011

Michael D. Goldhaber, Am Law Daily [USA]

The Global Lawyer: Corporate Alien Tort Rouses from Its Deathbed

…[US Court of Appeals judges] Richard Posner…and…Judith Rogers…[have] lined up behind corporate liability for human rights violations under the U.S. Alien Tort Statute…[which] was snuffed out in the Second Circuit in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum last year...[I]n Flomo v. Firestone, Judge Posner affirmed the dismissal of claims by Liberian rubber tappers that Firestone had encouraged child labor...Posner summarily rejected the central premise of Kiobel--that corporations have never been prosecuted for violating customary international law...[In] Doe v. Exxon...Judge Rogers reinstated claims by Indonesian villagers that Exxon is liable for incidents of torture, killing, and arbitrary detention allegedly committed by security forces dedicated to an Exxon facility...Rogers...also notes that the principle of corporate liability is generally accepted under domestic…law, and general principles of law are a standard source of customary international law...Commentators immediately noted that the deepening of the circuit split on corporate liability strengthens the case for granting cert [Supreme Court review] in Kiobel. [also refers to Talisman]

Part of the following timelines

US appeals courts split on corporate liability for human rights abuses under Alien Tort Statute, strengthening case for Supreme Court review

ExxonMobil lawsuit (re Aceh)

Talisman lawsuit (re Sudan)

Firestone lawsuit (re Liberia)