Article on Corporate Responsibility and the Kiobel Decision

Corporate Responsibility for Human Rights Violations: Some remarks on the US Court of Appeals’ decision in Kiobel case by Marco Fasciglione

Since the Khulumani judgment, in which judge Korman in his minority opinion raised the objection that multinational corporations might not be sued under the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) as they are not subjects of international law, multinational corporations summoned in ATCA litigations for violation international human rights norms have started to include such an objection among their defense strategies. On 17 September 2010 this theory has been upheld by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the Kiobel case. Following this reversal, arguably aimed at erasing the entire ATCA case law which made possible to suit before US domestic tribunals corporations having violated international human rights provisions, the theory that corporation are proper subjects of litigations under atca, might be no more applicable. This article examines the Court’s reasoning and its misapplication of the Supreme Court’s precedent in Sosa case as well as its weaknesses from an international human rights law perspective.

The full article can be accessed here: Corporate Responsibility for Human Rights Violations.

Marco Fasciglione (PhD) is Researcher at the Institute for International Legal Studies of the Italian National Research Council (ISGI-CNR). He has more than ten years of experience as researcher, legal adviser and trainer in international law field, with specific experience in international human rights law mechanism, corporate social responsibility, migration’s flows regulation. Former legal officer at the European Court of human Rights, since 2010 he is member of the independent experts’ group of the European Commission (DG JLS) for the sectors of Civil justice and Fundamental rights and citizenships.


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