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[PDF] Kiobel, et al. v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, et al. - Opinion

Plaintiffs assert claims for aiding and abetting violations of the law of nations against…corporations…under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”)…We hold, under the precedents of the Supreme Court and our own Court over the past three decades, that in ATS suits alleging violations of customary international law, the scope of liability…is determined by customary international law itself. Because customary international law consists of only those norms that are specific, universal, and obligatory in the relations of States inter se, and because no corporation has ever been subject to any form of liability…under the customary international law of human rights, we hold that corporate liability is not a discernable…norm of customary international law that we may apply pursuant to the ATS. Accordingly, plaintiffs’ ATS claims must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

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