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Corporate Aiding and Abetting Liability Under the Alien Tort Statute: A Legislative Prerogative

By Michael Garvey


Since the landmark decision in Filártiga v. Pena-Irala, U.S. courts have struggled determining actionable claims under the enigmatic Alien Tort Statute (ATS). While the Supreme Court recognized the viability of the ATS as a jurisdictional statute in Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain, its scope was restricted to an amorphous “eighteenth century paradigm.” This model has proven to be a murky standard. One of the most contentious and uncertain claims under the ATS involves corporate liability for aiding and abetting human rights violations. This Comment argues that based upon the limited holding of Sosa, aiding and abetting liability would not be recognized as an actionable claim under the ATS. Therefore, similar to the Torture Victim Protection Act, it is Congress’s role to clarify the ATS and ensure that victims of human rights are able to hold complicit corporations liable

Topics: Jurisdiction
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Boston College Law School
Year: 2009
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