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The Rule of Law at a Crossroad: Enforcing Corporate Responsibility in International Investment Through the Alien Tort Statute

...[Despite] the development of international norms on how corporations should behave in the global economy, one of the biggest challenges continues to be the enforcement of human rights standards...Effective accountability is critical for an international legal system that rewards law-abiding corporations, which then contributes to the deterrence of future violations. [This paper focuses on] one small piece of the attempt to enforce human rights standards against corporate violators—the claims brought under a U.S. law, the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), and the recent challenges presented by a Supreme Court case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell. The development of this area of jurisprudence is at an important crossroad, and the next steps by U.S. courts will be critical steps—either forward, towards an improved system of accountability...or backward, leaving victims without a remedy, rewarding those companies who flout the rule of law and penalizing their competitors who follow the law, and weakening the system of law itself...