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Who Can Be Sued III: Corporations

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Chapter Summary

One of the most dynamic areas of Alien Tort Statute (ATS) litigation since the mid-1990s has been claims against multinational corporations for their direct involvement or complicity in human rights violations committed in connection with their activities abroad. ATS litigation may be seen as partially filling the accountability vacuum left by the absence of comprehensive international regulation and may serve as a catalyst for future reform efforts. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the evolution of ATS litigation as a tool for human rights litigation against corporations. It discusses some of the most prominent issues to emerge from the corporate ATS cases, including allegations of corporate complicity in human rights violations; special problems triggered by complex corporate structures; claims raised under the Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) or state law; and the particular issues involved in cases against government contractors.

Keywords: Alien Tort Statute (ATS) litigation; government contractors; human rights violations; multinational corporations; Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA)



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