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Treaty Violations

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines the prevailing approach to treaty enforcement, while offering a brief introduction to the debate over its validity and the likely place of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) treaty prong within that approach. It discusses the status of claims under three often-litigated treaties. The chapter discusses the issues raised by treaty claims against private defendants, including corporations. Modern interpretation of the treaty prong of the ATS is complicated by changing historical understandings of treaties and the mechanisms by which they can be enforced in U.S. courts. Litigants seeking remedies for a violation of a treaty that is self-executing and creates a private right of action can assert their claim directly as an actionable violation of the treaty. The Conventions also sought to ensure that protected persons could use whatever means are available, including domestic judicial remedies, to protect their rights.

Keywords: Alien Tort Statute (ATS); treaty enforcement; treaty violation; U.S. courts



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