International Implications of the Alien Tort Statute

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Gary Clyde Hufbauer

Gary Clyde Hufbauer

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics; Institute for International Economics

Nicholas K. -

affiliation not provided to SSRN

- Mitrokostas

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 2004

Abstract

The Alien Tort Statute of 1789 (ATS) remained virtually dormant until it was revived by the 1980 decision of the Second Circuit in Filartiga vs. Pena-Irala. Since Filartiga, plaintiffs, who are neither US citizens nor residents, have invoked the ATS for a widening range of claims alleging large damages from acts committed outside the United States. ATS suits are increasingly targeting the deep pockets of multinational corporations. In an upcoming case, Sosa vs. Alvarez-Machain, the US Supreme Court will have to address whether the ATS grants federal courts a flexible power to create new torts corresponding to evolving norms in the 'law of nations'. The authors contend that a broad interpretation of the ATS will make US federal courts agents of judicial imperialism, doing great damage to foreign relations, as well as international trade and investment.

Suggested Citation

Hufbauer, Gary Clyde and -, Nicholas K. and Mitrokostas, -, International Implications of the Alien Tort Statute (June 2004). Journal of International Economic Law, Vol. 7, Issue 2, pp. 245-262, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1093099

Gary Clyde Hufbauer (Contact Author)

Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Institute for International Economics ( email )

1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1903
United States

Nicholas K. -

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

- Mitrokostas

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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