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21 Dec 2011

Earth Rights Intl.

[PDF] Kiobel, et al. v. Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum Co., et al. - Brief of Earth Rights Intl. as amicus curiae supporting petitioners

Amicus...has an interest in ensuring that the courts apply the correct body of law to questions of corporate liability under the ATS [Alien Tort Statute]...The Second Circuit held that, under the Alien Tort Statute, victims of human rights abuses that are universally recognized to violate international law cannot sue corporations—no matter how horrific the violation or extensive the corporation’s participation. In effect, it found that corporations are immune simply by virtue of being corporations. That holding contravenes the centuries-old understanding, common to our legal system and every other, that corporations can be sued just as natural persons. And it would create a new exemption from liability for acts like genocide that are so universally reviled that they render the perpetrator “an enemy of all mankind,” despite the fact that corporate immunity is anathema even in the context of garden-variety torts.