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New Featured Discussion: Kiobel and corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute

Professor Julian Ku of Hofstra Law School and Professor David Weissbrodt, the Regents Professor and Fredrikson & Byron Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, discuss the extent to which companies can be sued by foreigners in U.S. courts for alleged human rights abuses abroad, at issue in the Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum case currently before the Supreme Court with oral arguments scheduled to be heard tomorrow. This installment of Point of Law's monthly featured discussions was deliberately scheduled to generate quick-time analysis and reaction to the Kiobel case shortly after it is argued in the courtroom.

Professor Ku's opening comment neatly summarized the major arguments on both sides of the central issue in Kiobel. Professor Ku then discussed the "unattractive" argument against corporate liability, yet concluded that this argument, while unattractive and unpopular, is persuasive and probably correct, citing the strong presumption that "international law doesn't impose duties directly on corporate entities after all." The featured discussion promises to be lively and thoughtful; please check back throughout the week as the discussion continues.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.