The Politics of Corporate Alien Tort Cases

6 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2011 Last revised: 13 Nov 2012

See all articles by Chimène Keitner

Chimène Keitner

University of California Davis School of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2011


This very brief symposium contribution considers recent developments relating to corporate liability for international law violations under the Alien Tort Statute, including the Second Circuit's decisions in Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman and Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. Ultimately, the political branches bear responsibility for weighing competing considerations and developing a regulatory framework for corporate liability that takes into account multiple intersecting policy goals. In the meantime, federal judges will continue to grapple with the implications of corporate ATS cases in their courtrooms. In so doing, they should be wary of modifying doctrine in response to policy considerations in corporate ATS cases that could have unintended negative consequences for ATS cases against individuals, or for other cases involving the interpretation and application of international law.

Keywords: corporations, alien tort, Kiobel, Talisman

Suggested Citation

Keitner, Chimène, The Politics of Corporate Alien Tort Cases (July 1, 2011). Pepperdine Law Review Online, Vol. 2011, p. 23, 2011, Available at SSRN:

Chimène Keitner (Contact Author)

University of California Davis School of Law ( email )

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