Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.: A New Standard for the Enforcement of International Law in U.S. Courts?
Aaron Xavier Fellmeth
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, Vol. 5, 2002
U.S. courts have traditionally been reluctant to exercise jurisdiction over human rights violations committed abroad against foreign persons, often invoking forum non conveniens to dismiss cases. The Second Circuit's ruling in Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Company altered the balance of forum non conveniens, making it easier to bring claims based on a foreign human rights violation despite the availability of an alternative forum. The court's reasoning emphasized the interest of the United States in vindicating human rights abroad and would hold wealthy parties to a greater standard of inconvenience than poorer parties. The decision may mark a turning point away from judicial indifference and hostility to international human rights law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: jurisdiction, human rights, international law
Date posted: May 16, 2009
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