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[PDF] Kiobel, et al. v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., et al. - Brief for Petitioners

This Court held…that the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”)…by its grant of jurisdiction, authorized the federal courts to recognize federal common law causes of action to redress violations of a small number of well-established customary international norms. The plaintiffs in this case allege such violations, including torture, extrajudicial killings and crimes against humanity, which were committed against them…, aided and abetted by respondents. A sharply divided Second Circuit panel…[held] that ATS jurisdiction does not extend to suits against corporations based on the majority’s belief that there is no customary international norm of corporate liability. This decision ignored the structure and substance of international law…The imposition of civil liability on corporations has been an established feature of American law…There is no sound basis for the majority’s unprecedented exclusion of corporations from ATS civil tort liability. The decision should be reversed.

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