Sarei v. Rio Tinto – Certiorari Petition to the US Supreme Court

There is now another certiorari petition to the US Supreme Court concerning corporate liability under the ATS. This time from the Ninth Circuit decision in Sarei v. Rio Tinto. The petitioners want the Supreme Court to hear the case alongside Kiobel – but with different questions:

1. Whether U.S. courts should recognize a federal common law claim under the ATS arising from conduct occurring entirely within the jurisdiction of a foreign sovereign, especially where the claim addresses the foreign sovereign’s own conduct on its own soil toward its own citizens.

2. Whether U.S. courts should recognize a federal common law claim under the ATS based on aiding-and-abetting liability, even absent concrete factual allegations establishing that the purpose of the defendant’s conduct was to advance the principal actor’s violations of international law.

3. Whether a plaintiff asserting a federal common law claim under the ATS addressed to conduct occurring entirely within the jurisdiction of a foreign sovereign must seek to exhaust available remedies in the courts of that sovereign before filing suit in the United States, as international and domestic law require.

4. Whether federal common law claims asserted under the ATS for violations of international human rights law norms may be brought against corporate entities.

In other related news, see here for the recanted filed brief by Nigerian plaintiffs in the US SC Kiobel case.

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