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2 Aug 2012

Alison Frankel, Thomson Reuters News & Insight

Shell: Alien Tort Statute not meant for international human rights

The first case the U.S. Supreme Court will hear when the justices return in October is a reprise of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, which the high court originally heard in February but tossed back to the parties for rebriefing. The new question before the high court is this: Does the Alien Tort Statute…apply to conduct that took place outside of the United States? For the human rights community, this is a do-or-die moment. Late Wednesday,…Shell…filed its brief on the extraterritorial application of the ATS. Shell’s brief…implies that federal appeals courts have erred in rulings that permitted the Alien Tort Statute to be asserted by victims of overseas acts that allegedly violate the “law of nations.”