Today, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (pdf) on the scope of the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), 28 U.S.C. § 1350, a law that creates federal jurisdiction for civil actions brought by aliens for torts committed in violation of the law of nations or a U.S. treaty. In Kiobel, the Court held that presumption against applying federal statutes extraterritorially applies to the ATS, and affirmed the dismissal of an ATS complaint alleging violations of international law in Nigeria. Kiobel thus is a very welcome development for businesses that have been targeted by lawsuits under the ATS, an increasingly common vehicle for unjustified class actions in recent years.
See additional discussion below the fold.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Holds That Alien Tort Statute Doesn’t Apply Extraterritorially