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10 Jun 2011

Marco Simons, EarthRights International

Victims and courts fight to hold corporations accountable for human rights abuses, challenging Kiobel [USA]

[O]n May 18, a federal court in Illinois declined to follow Kiobel. In a case involving Hungarian Jews who allege theft of their property by Hungarian banks during the Holocaust, the court allowed claims of "[g]enocide by looting and aiding and abetting genocide by looting" to proceed under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS)…[T]he court quotes extensively from Judge Leval's concurring opinion in Kiobel, and "agrees with the concurring opinion in Kiobel that there is a sufficient legal basis to hold corporations liable under the ATS for genocide." Second, the corporate liability issue was argued in the appeal in the Flomo v. Firestone case before the Seventh Circuit...Last, the plaintiffs in the Kiobel case...have filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to take the case.