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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 Supreme Court And The Alien Tort Statute: Kiobel V. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., Ingrid W. Brunk Jan 2013

The Supreme Court And The Alien Tort Statute: Kiobel V. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., Ingrid W. Brunk

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Alien Tort Statute litigation has generated a growing number of questions about the the scope of statute, but in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. the Supreme Court finally answered one of them: the presumption against extraterritoriality applies to the statute. Going forward, courts may apply a robust version of the presumption, effectively ending ATS litigation as we currently know it. Or, they may not. The Court’s citations to Morrison v. Nat’l Austl. Bank Ltd. suggest the former; some language in the various opinions suggests the latter. This article explores these uncertainties and also discusses additional factors that may be …