2012

Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum

Key Issue
Whether corporations may be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) for the violations alleged.

OFII Brief

Court’s Ruling

Outcome decided on April 17, 2013
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the presumption against extraterritoriality applies to claims under the ATS, and nothing in the statute rebuts that presumption. Essentially, U.S. courts have no jurisdiction against claims arising from human rights violations committed overseas. 

 

 

U.S. v. Volvo Powertrain Corporation: PENDING

Key Issue
Whether consent decrees can be enforced and interpreted outside the scope of originally written terms.

OFII Brief

Status
Awaiting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision.

 

 

Rio Tinto v. Sarei

Key Issue
Whether U.S. courts should recognize a federal common law claim under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) based on aiding-and-abetting liability, even absent concrete factual allegations establishing that the purpose of the defendant’s conduct was to advance the principal actor’s violations of international law.

OFII Brief

Status
On April 22, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s ruling and sent it back for further consideration in light of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.