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Jesner v. Arab Bank and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Author: John F. Sherman III, Shift, on Clarion, Published on: 1 October 2017

[Article starts p. 12]

…[I]n Jesner, the petitioners, who are victims of terrorist bombings and attacks, are suing the respondent Arab Bank, a multinational corporation based in Jordan, under the ATS. A jury found that the bank had knowingly used its New York branch as a clearinghouse to facilitate the financing of such actions…

The District Court ultimately overturned the verdict and dismissed the claim on the ground that corporations are not subject to suit under the ATS. The Second Circuit affirmed…

…[T]he Guiding Principles remain highly relevant in Jesner. First, their background and content show that international law does not preclude corporate responsibility for violations of human rights. Second, their widespread uptake helps to show that the existence of potential ATS liability benefits businesses abroad much more than it burdens them…

 

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