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Corporate Crime and Punishment

Should corporations have immunity for human rights abuses? On February 28, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case that will decide whether corporations will be exempted from a crucial law that allows foreign victims of serious human rights abuses to sue them in US courts for civil damages…The…Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum…plaintiffs accuse the company of aiding and abetting abuses by the Nigerian government…The Alien Tort Statute…under which the Nigerians are bringing their case was designed to ensure that foreigners could seek justice on US soil for crimes against "the law of nations."…The Alien Tort Statute provides a vital avenue for human rights cases against companies to be heard. Victims and surviving family members can hold multinational companies responsible for complicity in abuses, and the corporations can't hide from the U.S. legal system or from international law. The victims and their families deserve a day in court.

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