Why is the U.S. Abdicating the Policing of Multinational Corporations to Europe?: Extraterritorialism, Sovereignty, and the Alien Tort Statute
Jodie A. Kirshner
University of Cambridge
August 1, 2011
Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL), Vol. 29, No. 2, 2012
University of Cambridge Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 16/2012
The United States has policed the multinational effects of multinational corporations more aggressively than any other coun-try, but recent decisions under the Alien Tort Statute indicate that it is now backtracking. Europe, paradoxically, is moving in the other direction. Why do some countries retract extraterritorial jurisdiction while others step forward? The article traces the opposing trends through corporate human rights cases and suggests that the answer may lie in attitudes towards national sovereignty. The developments raise important questions regarding the position of the United States in a globalizing world and its role in upholding international norms.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 70
Keywords: Extraterritorial jurisdiction, Alien Tort Statute, Corporate groups, Multinational firms, Corporate veil, European Union, Corporate crime, National sovereignty, Human rights
JEL Classification: F23, F40, H73, K2, L22, O19, P50
Date posted: November 8, 2011 ; Last revised: June 26, 2012
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