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The Alien Tort Statute And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia Aug 2016

The Alien Tort Statute And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia

Anthony J. Bellia

Courts and scholars have struggled to identify the original meaning of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS). As enacted in 1789, the ATS provided "[t]hat the district courts...shall...have cognizance...of all causes where an alien sues for tort only in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States." The statute was rarely invoked for almost two centuries. In the 1980s, lower federal courts began reading the statute expansively to allow foreign citizens to sue other foreign citizens for all violations of modern customary international law that occurred outside the United States. In 2004, the Supreme Court took …


To Touch And Concern The United States With Sufficient Force: How American Due Process And Choice Of Law Cases Inform The Reach Of The Alien Tort Statute After Kiobel, Karima Tawfik Apr 2016

To Touch And Concern The United States With Sufficient Force: How American Due Process And Choice Of Law Cases Inform The Reach Of The Alien Tort Statute After Kiobel, Karima Tawfik

Michigan Journal of International Law

This Note explores the post-Kiobel ATS cases and argues that the Fourth Circuit’s approach to considering claims that manifest a close connection to the United States as potentially entitling the plaintiff to relief under the ATS is preferable to approaches that categorically bar claims when the alleged conduct has occurred abroad. Part I describes the Kiobel decision in more depth and the subsequent ATS case law to outline the contours of recent circuit cases. Part II demonstrates how domestic personal jurisdiction and choice of law principles weigh in favor of a more expansive reading of the ATS, as adopted …