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Anthony J. Bellia

2013

Perfect rights

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Federal Common Law Of Nations, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark Oct 2013

The Federal Common Law Of Nations, Anthony J. Bellia, Bradford R. Clark

Anthony J. Bellia

Courts and scholars have vigorously debated the proper role of customary international law in American courts: To what extent should it be considered federal common law, state law, or general law? The debate has reached something of an impasse, in part because various positions rely on, but also are in tension with, historical practice and constitutional structure. This Article describes the role that the law of nations actually has played throughout American history. In keeping with the original constitutional design, federal courts for much of that history enforced certain rules respecting other nations' perfect rights (or close analogues) under the …


The Alien Tort Statute And The Law Of Nations, Bradford R. Clark, Anthony J. Bellia Jr. Oct 2013

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

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 a 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 until, in the 1980s, lower federal courts began reading the statute expansively to allow foreign citizens to sue other foreign citizens for violations of modern customary international law that occurred outside the United States. In 2004 …