Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum
Whether corporations may be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) for the violations alleged.
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
Whether consent decrees can be enforced and interpreted outside the scope of originally written terms.
Awaiting the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s decision.
Rio Tinto v. Sarei
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.
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.