February 28, 2012

HOIST ON THEIR OWN PERSONHOOD:

Justices Divided on Corporate Liability for Human Rights Violations (Ariane de Vogue, Feb 28, 2012, ABC News)

Kathleen M. Sullivan, a lawyer for Shell, argued that her client could not be sued under the federal law in question -- the Alien Tort Statute -- because it applies to individuals, not corporations. She interpreted a footnote in a prior Supreme Court case to say that courts must look to international law for guidance and that international law does not recognize corporate responsibility for the alleged offenses.

"International law holds corporations liable for some international law violations," Sullivan said, and she pointed to conventions on the financing of terrorism and the bribery of public officials. "But the human rights offenses here do not arise from conventions like those which allow corporate liability. To the contrary. The human rights offenses here arise from conventions that speak to individual liability. The liability of individuals."

Justice Elena Kagan pressed Sullivan on whether corporations are "meaningfully different from individuals."

Why would anyone have thought that conservative activism on the Court would leave the law any more coherent than liberal activism did?
Posted by orrinj at February 28, 2012 7:31 PM
  
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