From the Guardian:
In Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum, a group of Nigerians claim that they or their relatives have been the victims of torture, summary execution and other crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nigerian government with the active collaboration of the oil company. The suit was brought under the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 law that allows aliens to sue in US courts for torts in violation of international law, under which dozens of cases have been brought since it came back to life in a 1980 decision of the court of appeal for the second circuit.
The same court has now ruled that the ATS applies only to individuals, as in the 1980 case, but not to corporations. The supreme court will have to decide whether it agrees with this rule, or with those of four other circuits, none of which have had any difficulty taking on corporate human rights cases under ATS.
Kiobel has attracted a great deal of interest in the legal community. Over 20 friend-of-the-court briefs have been filed on the side of the plaintiffs and almost that many on the other side. In the former camp are many human rights organizations, as well as the US government; in the latter, mostly multinational corporations and trade associations, as well as the governments of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The business people are saying there is no precedent for corporations being sued under international law, hence no international principle on which to base ATS claims. Not true, say the victims: IG Farben and other German companies were broken up or dissolved by the allies after the second world war for their use of slave labor and other crimes.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
From the Guardian:
- Cartoonist Alan Moore, the Guy Fawkes Mask, and Occupy Wall Street
- 'The History of Oil - by Robert Newman
- Can Dialectics Break Bricks?
- Riots or revolt? - An insight into why Greece is now in flames
- Salvador Dali expounds on his 'Paranoiac Critical Method' philosophy
- The Last Roundup
- The Merchant of Death: Basil Zaharoff
- UPDATED: Warriors out of their minds: Drugs of choice for super soldiers
- Holocaust Deniers - a growing club
- Smokey the Bear Sutra by Gary Snyder
- Twilight of the Psychopaths
- The Bankers' Manifesto of 1892
- Jacques Ellul on Propaganda
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