Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum: What is the future of the Alien Tort Statute?
In the past 20 years, plaintiffs' lawyers have used the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) to file lawsuits against multinational corporations alleging serious human rights abuses. In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell the Supreme Court significantly limited the jurisdictional reach of the ATS. The Court held that the ATS is generally presumed not to apply to conduct occurring in the territory of another country. However, the Court suggested that if the "claims touch and concern the territory of the United States … with sufficient force," the presumption against extraterritorial application might be displaced. What claims may be brought under the ATS after the Kiobel ruling remains an open question. This panel will address the future of ATS litigation and its potential impact beyond ATS cases in an interactive session.