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2 Oct 2012

Boston Common Asset Management & 30 other socially responsible investors & investment managers

[PDF] Investor Statement for Human Rights and in Support of the U.S. Alien Tort Statute

The U.S. Alien Tort Statute (ATS)…has become an essential statute in protecting human rights against abuses, committed both by individuals and corporations…This law is currently being contested in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell)…The U.S. Supreme Court will be considering the ramifications of allowing foreign incidents to be brought to trial in the U.S. courts. Shell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce…have returned to a long discredited argument: requiring corporate accountability decreases investment. There is no empirical evidence that in the years since the ATS was first used to address corporations, it has decreased investments in the U.S. or abroad…We are investors and investment managers representing $548 billion in assets under management and we support international legal frameworks, including the U.S. Alien Tort Statute (ATS), to protect human rights.

Part of the following timelines

US Supreme Ct. hears oral arguments in Kiobel v. Shell Alien Tort Claims Act case - some justices seem to favour narrowing law in human rights cases

Chevron lawsuit (re Nigeria)

Coca-Cola lawsuit (re Colombia)

Talisman lawsuit (re Sudan)

Unocal lawsuit (re Myanmar)