On Tuesday, February 28, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. At stake is whether corporations can be held liable for participating in the commission of human rights violations under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”).
In this case, multinational oil companies are alleged to have aided and abetted human rights atrocities committed against environmental activists by the Nigerian military, for which victims and victims’ surviving family members now seek compensation.
Today Alliance for Justice is releasing an in-depth report on Kiobel. As the report highlights:
The Supreme Court is poised to make a statement on the civil liability of corporations that participate in the commission of atrocities in the pursuit of profit. After its shocking holding in Citizens United that corporations enjoy the same rights as people to spend unlimited money to influence elections, already resulting in a perversion of American democracy, it would be the utmost hypocrisy if the Court now rules that corporations enjoy special privileges when they engage in activities that the international community has condemned as crimes against humanity. If corporations are to have equal rights, at the very least, they must also have equal responsibilities.
The new report on Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum is available online. Click here to download the .pdf.