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The future of Alien Tort Statute litigation: a talk by Paul Hoffman

Author: Jill Greenfield, Harvard Law School, Published on: 11 March 2011

In a…talk…[at]…Harvard Law School Paul Hoffman, a leading litigator of claims brought under the Alien Tort Statute, offered a look at the history of lawsuits against corporations for their complicity in human rights violations—and a glimpse of some possible future developments…Hoffman provided background on how the Statute has been used to bring human rights violators to justice over the past three decades... But the question of whether the Alien Tort Statute can apply to corporations remains open...[E]ven if Kiobel is upheld on appeal, there are other avenues that human rights litigators can pursue in pushing for corporate accountability for human rights violations. One option would be to sue CEOs and other responsible individuals within the corporation for their involvement in human rights cases…Recognizing the limits of U.S. lawyers bringing suit against U.S. corporations in district courts, Hoffman said that ultimate goal is to inspire international regulation of corporate conduct in order to enforce good corporate behavior.

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