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US Supreme Court rules that corporations cannot be sued for torture and extrajudicial killing

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in Mohamad v. Palestinian Authority that the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA), which allows suits in federal court for torture and extrajudicial killing, only allows suits against human beings - not corporations or other entities.

We'll have more on this later, but among the impacts of this decision is one that hits very close to home here at ERI: the final appeal in Bowoto v. Chevron Corp., which also raised the question of suing corporations under the TVPA, now appears to be at an end.

However, because this decision was based on the particular text of the TVPA, it doesn't necessarily indicate anything about what the Supreme Court might do about corporate liability under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) in the Kiobel case, which was heard the same day as Mohamad but will be reheard by the court in its next term.

 


 

Update: My colleague Jonathan was interviewed on WBAI about the Mohamad decision.