Def Comity Jam

From Lawfare:

The Governments of Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have filed amicus briefs in support of Shell Oil in the Kiobel case, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether corporations may be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute for violations of international law.  The foreign governments’ intervention could have a significant effect on the case, given concerns previously expressed by the Court in Sosa v Alvarez-Machain about the implications of ATS litigation for US foreign relations and international comity.

In their joint brief, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands agree with the Second Circuit’s holding that international law does not impose liability on corporations; they also argue that application of the ATS to foreign nationals for actions in foreign countries with no nexus to the United States violates international law. Germany similarly urges the Court “to instruct the lower courts that the power to adjudicate should only be exercised in ATS cases brought by foreign plaintiffs against foreign corporate defendants concerning foreign activities where there is no possibility for the foreign plaintiff to pursue the matter in another jurisdiction with a greater nexus.”


About Charles Donefer

I am an attorney in New York City.
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