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Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe (U.S. Sup. Ct.)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 August 2021

William S. Dodge*
Affiliation:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Law and John D. Ayer Chair in Business Law, School of Law, University of California, Davis. The author filed a Brief of International Law Scholars as Amici Curiae in Support of Respondents, arguing that international human rights norms may be applied to corporations.

Extract

On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its opinion in Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe, a human rights case brought under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), alleging that U.S. companies aided and abetted child slavery in Ivory Coast. By a vote of 8 to 1, the Court held that the claims were impermissibly extraterritorial because nearly all the conduct occurred abroad. The Court left open the possibility that the implied cause of action under the ATS applies to U.S. corporations.

Type
International Legal Documents
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The American Society of International Law

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References

ENDNOTES

1 141 S. Ct. 1931 (2021).

2 28 U.S.C. § 1350.

3 630 F.2d 876 (2d Cir. 1980).

4 542 U.S. 692 (2004).

5 621 F.3d 111 (2d Cir. 2010).

6 Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., 569 U.S. 108, 124–25 (2013).

7 138 S. Ct. 1386 (2018).

8 136 S. Ct. 2090 (2016). For explanation of the two-step framework, see William S. Dodge, The New Presumption Against Extraterritoriality, 133 Harv. L. Rev. 1582 (2020).

9 Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe, 141 S. Ct. 1931, 1936 (2021) (quoting RJR, 136 S. Ct. at 2101).

10 Id. at 1937.

11 Id.

12 Id. (opinion of Thomas, J.)

13 Id. at 1942-43 (Gorsuch, J., concurring).

14 Id. at 1946 (Sotomayor, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment).

15 Id. at 1941 (Gorsuch, J., concurring).

16 Id. at 1951 (Alito, J., dissenting).

17 Id. at 1947 n.4 (Sotomayor, J., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment).

18 See Sarei v. Rio Tinto, PLC, 671 F.3d 736, 748, 759–61, 764–65 (9th Cir. 2011) (en banc), vacated on other grounds sub nom. Rio Tinto PLC v. Sarei, 569 U.S. 945 (2013); Doe v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 654 F.3d 11, 15 (D.C. Cir. 2011), vacated on other grounds, 527 F. App'x 7 (D.C. Cir. 2013); Flomo v. Firestone Nat'l Rubber Co., 643 F.3d 1013, 1021 (7th Cir. 2011); Romero v. Drummond Co., 552 F.3d 1303, 1315 (11th Cir. 2008).

19 But cf. In re Chiquita Brands Int'l, Inc., 190 F. Supp. 3d 1100 (S.D. Fla. 2016) (alleging that U.S. company paid foreign paramilitary organization to suppress labor unrest).

20 28 U.S.C. § 1350 note.

21 18 U.S.C. § 1595.

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