Justices Weigh Foreigners' Suits VS. Companies

Corporations and human rights groups are squaring off in the Supreme Court over whether foreign victims of war crimes, killings and other atrocities can haul multinational companies into American courts and try to prove they were complicit in the abuses and should pay damages.

The rights groups say a 223-year-old law gives foreigners the right to try to hold businesses accountable for any role they play in atrocities.

Energy and mining companies have been among the targets of these lawsuits in recent years following efforts by the military in Indonesia, Nigeria and elsewhere to clamp down on protests against oil and gas operations.

The justices will hear arguments Tuesday over the reach of the Alien Tort Statute and a 1992 law that allows torture victims to sue those responsible.


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