Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.
- Case Date: 8/8/2012
- Project Name: Civil Justice Reform
On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by human rights activists alleging that a multinational corporation committed human rights violations in Nigeria. The Court held that the Alien Tort Statute, the 1789 federal law under which the activists sued, applies only to activities that occur within the United States. The decision was a huge victory for WLF, which filed a brief in the case and for more than a decade has been a leading voice in opposing extraterritorial application of the ATS. The Court agreed with WLF that the 18th century Congress gave no indication that it intended the ATS to apply to events occurring overseas; and that in the absence of such an indication, Congress is presumed to have had no such intent. The Court recognized that it is up to Congress, not the courts, to decide how far the American judicial system should go in supervising events that take place in foreign countries, an activity that carries major foreign policy consequences.
More Information and Downloads:
8/8/2012: Download the Brief
Litigation Update: Court Bars Tort Suits Alleging Overseas Rights Violations