EarthRights International releases new report examining evolution & future of human rights litigation in US courts

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Article
1 October 2013

New Report Examines Evolution and Future of Human Rights Litigation in U.S. Courts

Author: EarthRights International

EarthRights International (ERI) today released a new report, “Out of Bounds: Accountability for Corporate Human Rights Abuse After Kiobel,” which examines accountability for human rights abuses in U.S. courts. Focusing on the history, jurisprudence and politics of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), the report explains how this 200-year-old law became a critical tool in the area of business and human rights – and how a recent decision by the corporate-friendly Supreme Court may shield some multinational corporations from liability and deny justice to their victims. [Refers to Shell, Unocal (part of Chevron).]

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Article
1 October 2013

[PDF] Out of Bounds - Accountability for Corporate Human Rights Abuse After Kiobel

Author: EarthRights International

This report presents a summary of the history, jurisprudence and politics of the [Alien Tort Statute (ATS)], explaining how this obscure law became one of the most important and hotly contested tools in the area of business and human rights and the target of attack by the corporate lobby, the Bush Administration, and eventually even the Obama Administration. We track the rise of the ATS through its highs, including the Supreme Court’s 2004 decision in Sosa v. Alvarez Machain, to its recent holding in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell). We consider the future of ATS claims and other avenues for human rights litigation more broadly in light of the holding, and conclude that new tools are needed to fulfill U.S. obligations to hold corporations accountable. [Also refers to Arab Bank, CACI, Chevron, Chiquita, Cisco, ExxonMobil, Pfizer, Rio Tinto, Total, Unocal (part of Chevron).]

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