Skip to main content

Legal Update

US Supreme Court Holds that the Alien Tort Statute Does Not Apply Extraterritorially

18 April 2013
Mayer Brown Legal Update
In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, No. 10-1491, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) does not apply extraterritorially in cases alleging violations of international law occurring within the territory of sovereigns outside the United States. The case is significant because it promises to eliminate the use of the ATS as a vehicle for unjustified class actions against businesses. Further, it is likely to be important even outside of the ATS context in supporting arguments against extraterritorial application of federal laws.


  • Andrew J. Pincus
    T +1 202 263 3220
  • Alex C. Lakatos
    T +1 202 263 3312
  • Kevin S. Ranlett
    T +1 202 263 3217
  • Marc R. Cohen
    T +1 202 263 3206
The Build a Report feature requires the use of cookies to function properly. Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently. If you do not accept cookies, this function will not work. For more information please see our Privacy Policy

You have no pages selected. Please select pages to email then resubmit.