Angelica Bonfanti

No Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Under the Alien Tort Statute: Which "Forum" for Disputes on Overseas Corporate Human Rights Violations After "Kiobel"?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Alien Tort Statute; Corporate Accountability; Human Rights; Jurisdiction; Minimum Contacts; European Union.

With its Opinion in "Kiobel", the US Supreme Court denies that the ATS provides federal courts with jurisdiction in cases brought by foreign plaintiffs complaining against foreign defendants for international law violations committed abroad. While rejecting extraterritorial jurisdiction over 'foreign-cubed' cases, even if concerning corporate gross human rights violations, the Opinion leaves several problematic issues unsolved. This paper aims at examining them. After recalling the previous Opinion in "Sosa", and examining the presumption against extraterritoriality and the characterization of the ATS as a domestic provision for universal civil jurisdiction, it addresses the corresponding European Union's legal framework, as established by Regulations Nos 44/2001 and 1215/2012, with the aim of raising the question of the ATS's residual application and the competent "forum" to adjudicate future disputes on overseas corporate human rights violations.

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