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Jonathan Drimmer on the Talisman ATS ruling

In Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman Energy, the Second Circuit recently held that "aiding and abetting liability [in Alien Tort Statute suits over alleged international human rights violations] attaches only where plaintiffs can show that defendants act with the purpose of facilitating an underlying violation." Jonathan Drimmer of Steptoe & Johnson analyzes the case in a Backgrounder (leads to PDF) for the Washington Legal Foundation, and concludes: "Talisman's purpose test creates a higher barrier for plaintiffs pursuing ATS suits than the knowledge test in use elsewhere, and it will limit corporate ATS cases to some extent. Yet the holding is confined to the Second Circuit, plaintiffs have found success under other theories of liability, and evidence sufficient to show knowledge can sometimes create an inference of intent. So while Talisman will have an impact, corporations are not yet out of the ATS woods. "



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.