Saturday, 12 February 2011

Alien Tort Claims Act Cannot be Used Against Corporation, Court Confirms

The United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in Kiobel et al. v. Royal Dutch Shell, has upheld a judgment from September 2010 ruling that the Alien Tort Claims Act could not be applied to corporations. The three-judge ruling, with one dissent, upholds the earlier judgment. For those who follow such matters, it contains an interesting reference to case law of the European Court of Human Rights (the legendary Soering decision). The court had earlier ruled (5-5) not to reconsider the case en banc, as the full ten judges. Ralph Steinhardt says it is the only circuit with such a ruling, and expects that case may now go to the Supreme Court.
There is already detailed comment on the decision on the Oneworld blog and on Opinio juris. For the background of the case, see the Hague Justice Portal.
Thanks to Eva Heza.

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