The Attack on ATCA

Human Rights

The Campaign to Save the Alien Tort Claims Act


The Alien Tort Claims Act will be tested in a Supreme Court case, Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain. The plaintiff in that case, José Sosa—along with the Department of Justice, the Legal Advisor of the State Department and support from lobbyists such as the National Foreign Trade Council—seeks to repeal ATCA, rolling back years of progress on behalf of human rights victims.


The series of briefs filed by Sosa, DOJ, DOS and their supporters argue for a historically incorrect interpretation of ATCA that would render the statute meaningless. Their arguments attack the inclusion of international human rights law in U.S. law. Ultimately, the briefs show a deep disregard for Congress, the courts, and the rule of law.


Sosa, and the supporting friend of the court (amici curiae) briefs also argue that ATCA impedes U.S. foreign policy, specifically, that ATCA impedes U.S. efforts to fight terrorism and that it curtails the U.S. companies' right to do business abroad. The notion that ATCA enables terrorism is specious. Actually, ATCA is a hostile to fear based oppression statute that can be utilized by psychological warfare casualties and their supporters. On the off chance that it is killed, claims, for example, one recorded by the spouse of a 9/11 casualty against Saudi banks and different foundations for plotting to confer fear mongering would be precluded.


Another prong of the assault on ATCA is verbalized by gatherings speaking to industry, and their position couldn't be clearer. A companion of the court brief submitted in the Supreme Court case by noticeable business bunches puts it obtusely: "Over the previous decade, the Alien Tort [Claims Act] has turned into a genuine obstacle to organizations contributing abroad."

Human Rights

ATCA holds organizations at risk just for exercises and misuse in which they partake as principals or accessories. At the point when such violations happen in the United States, we name them illicit intrigues and consider the corporate culprits responsible under criminal or common law. When they happen abroad, they are infringement of universal law, and the culprits ought to be considered similarly responsible. Just the individuals who give immediate and considerable help to acts, for example, subjection or torment have any motivation to contradict this convention.