Jurisdiction

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SCOTUS Further Narrows Parent Corporate Liability under the Alien Tort Statute: Ambiguities and Evidentiary Thresholds in the June 2021 Judgment in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe et al.

Introduction On June 17, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Nestle USA, Inc. v. Doe, __ S. Ct. __ (2021), which involved six former child slaves (“Respondents”) who had been kidnapped and forced to work on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast. Nestle USA, Inc. and Cargill, Inc. (together, “Petitioners”) purchased, processed, and sold cocoa derived from these farms while providing the farm owners with technical and financial resources in exchange for the exclusive right to purchase their cocoa. The Respondents sued the Petitioners under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), which provides U.S. courts with jurisdiction to review “any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” The issues presented to the Court were twofold: (1) whether the Respondents sufficiently pled facts of domestic conduct to overcome the Court’s presumption against extraterritorial application of the ATS, and (2) if so, whether U.S. corporations such as the Petitioners are exempt from ATS lawsuits. Without deciding…

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The ECtHR in Georgia v. Russia – a farewell to arms? The effects of the Court’s judgment on the conflict in eastern Ukraine

On 21 January 2021, the ECtHR rendered its judgment on the merits in Georgia v. the Russian Federation (II). The complaint lodged by Georgia concerned grave human rights violations committed by Russia or non-state armed groups under its control in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the ‘buffer zone’. In its consideration of the question as to…

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A Study in Contrasting Jurisdictional Methodologies: The International Court of Justice’s February 2021 Judgments in Iran v. USA and Qatar v. UAE

The International Court of Justice issued two significant Decisions on Jurisdiction in early February: its 3 February 2021 Judgment in Iran v. United States (where the Court accepted jurisdiction over a dispute in which Iran alleged that the United States breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity between these two States) [hereafter, Iran v. US Judgment on Preliminary…

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ECtHR Grand Chamber Declares Admissible the Case of Ukraine v. Russia re Crimea

Yesterday the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights rendered its admissibility decision in the interstate claim brought by Ukraine against Russia regarding systematic human rights violations allegedly committed by the latter in Crimea. This is one of several interstate cases brought by Ukraine against Russia; others deal, for example, with the situation…

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The Assassination of Alexander Litvinenko Before the European Court of Human Rights

In more extraterritoriality news, the Guardian recently reported that the widow of Alexander Litvinenko, who was killed in London in 2006 by Russian agents using a radioactive poison, has revived the claim she had previously filed against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights: The widow of Alexander Litvinenko has submitted…

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