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Online symposium: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum

On Monday, SCOTUSblog will kick off an online symposium on Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.  At issue in the case is the interpretation of the Alien Tort Statute, a law passed by the first Congress in 1789 which provides that “[t]he district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations of a treaty of the United States.”

The Court granted certiorari in Kiobel to consider whether corporations can be held liable under the Alien Tort Statute for human rights violations that occur overseas. (The second issue before the Court was whether the first question is one of subject matter jurisdiction.)  Lyle Denniston previewed the case for this blog and reported on the oral argument; Steve Wermiel also discussed the case in his “SCOTUS for Law Students” column.

Less than a week after last February’s oral argument, the Court ordered new oral arguments in the case, directing the parties to brief and argue a third question:  “Whether and under what circumstances the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, allows courts to recognize a cause of action for violations of the law of nations occurring within the territory of a sovereign other than the United States.”  The petitioners have already filed their supplemental brief addressing that question; the respondent’s brief is due August 1. The second oral argument in the case will take place this fall, with an opinion to follow later in the Term.

In anticipation of the symposium, Lyle has posted an overview of the case “made simple.”  Our guest contributors will be considering all three of the questions before the Court. A list of guest contributors is below the jump.

•           Donald Childress – Pepperdine School of Law

•           Sarah Cleveland – Columbia Law School

•           Anthony Colangelo – SMU Dedman School of Law

•           Susan Farbstein – Harvard Law School

•           Meir Feder – Jones Day

•           Oona Hathaway – Yale Law School

•           Eugene Kontorovich – Northwestern School of Law

•           Julian Ku – Hofstra Law School

•           Michael Ramsey – University of San Diego Law School

•           Beth Stephens – Rutgers School of Law

•           Ingrid Wuerth – Vanderbilt Law School

Recommended Citation: Kali Borkoski, Online symposium: Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, SCOTUSblog (Jul. 6, 2012, 1:08 PM),