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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance


U.S. Supreme Court Closes Door to Human Rights Lawsuits against Foreign Corporations under the Alien Tort Statute

26 April 2018

On April 24, 2018, the Supreme Court held in Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC that foreign corporations may not be sued in U.S. courts for human rights violations under the Alien Tort Statute ("ATS"). For nearly four decades foreign plaintiffs have used the ATS to sue corporations for allegedly committing, financing, or otherwise facilitating human rights violations committed outside the United States, in cases presenting significant financial and reputational risk. While corporate officers and employees may still be sued under the ATS, Jesner effectively ends the ATS liability risk to foreign corporations.

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