The Concurrence That Leaves the Candle Flickering for ATS Supporters

by Julian Ku

It is worth noting that Justice Kennedy offered a very short concurrence. Here is the complete text of his concurrence, which should hearten ATS supporters that there is some room for future extraterritorial ATS cases (a very small room, I guess).

The opinion for the Court is careful to leave open a number of significant questions regarding the reach and interpretation of the Alien Tort Statute. In my view that is a proper disposition. Many serious concerns with respect to human rights abuses committed abroad have been addressed by Congress in statutes such as the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991 (TVPA), 106 Stat. 73, note following 28 U. S. C. §1350, and that class of cases will be determined in the future according to the detailed statutory scheme Congress has enacted. Other cases may arise with allegations of serious violations of international law principles protecting persons, cases covered neither by the TVPA nor by the reasoning and holding of today’s case; and in those disputes the proper implementation of the presumption against extraterritorial application may require some further elaboration and explanation.

One Response

  1. Ah the splendor of the American jurisdiction to adjudicate.  So ennobling for the supposed city on the hill!

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