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28 Dec 2003

Daphne Eviatar, in Boston Globe

Judgment day - Will an obscure law bring down the global economy?

Since 1996, close to two dozen cases have been filed against major multinationals [in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Claims Act] - including Royal Dutch/Shell, which is accused of complicity in the execution of Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa; Unocal, for abetting the murder, torture, and rape of Burmese villagers; and a slew of companies that allegedly conspired with the South African government during the apartheid years. There has yet to be a single judgment issued against a corporation. Still, the business lobby's bell is sounding, and the Bush administration is heeding its call.