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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.


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