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Attorneys Discuss Supreme Court Arguments on Human Rights Case

Washington, DC
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On the first day of the Supreme Court's fall session, the justices heard oral arguments in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, a case brought by 12 Nigerian nationals against oil companies they alleged used the Nigerian military to block protests against Shell's drilling operations.

Speaker's at Tuesday's panel discussion, hosted by American University's Washington College of Law,  represent both sides of the debate and case, including attorney Paul Hoffman, lead counsel for the plaintiffs who argued the case before the justices Monday.

The Court first heard the case in February on whether foreign nationals can bring civil suits against corporations for human rights abuses under the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 law allowing U.S. courts hear cases on violations of international law or U.S. treaties. The Court decided to expand their review and rehear the case on whether the statute should be limited to U.S. borders.

Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 1:53pm (ET)

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