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Case Detail


Doe v. Unocal Corporation
On April 14, 2003, WLF filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, urging the court to overturn a decision that exposes corporations to significant liability to foreign nationals for their overseas conduct. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled last year that a 1789 law, the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), allows foreigners to sue American corporations in U.S. courts for human rights violations allegedly committed during the course of their foreign operations. The Ninth Circuit has agreed to rehear the case before an 11-judge en banc panel. WLF argued that the panel misinterpreted the ATS. WLF argued that the ATS provides jurisdiction to federal courts in a very limited number of situations (such as piracy cases) and was never intended to allow activists to use the federal courts to enforce their notions of human rights law.
Case Status:
Parties settled case in December 2004, before a decision could be rendered.
More Information and Downloads:
4/11/2003: Download the Brief
Press Release: Court Urged To Dismiss Alien Tort Suit Against UNOCAL
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