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New SCOTUS brief: Keep international human rights cases in U.S. courts

Are the high seas the legal equivalent of foreign soil? According to a new U.S. Supreme Court brief by the victims of alleged state-sponsored violence on an oil rig in Nigeria, they are indeed. The brief, filed in a case that will determine the role of the United States in international human rights litigation, argues that the very first Congress enacted the Alien Tort Statute…to establish federal-court jurisdiction over piracy cases. The sort of robbery on the high seas that Congress had in mind, the brief said, clearly took place off the shores of the United States. So it doesn't make sense to presume…that Congress intended the Alien Tort Statute to apply only to alleged wrongdoing inside U.S. borders...The brief, filed by Paul Hoffman…in the case known as Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, is the opening salvo in the Supreme Court's reshaping of the Kiobel case.

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