In Jesner v. Arab Bank, U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Corporate Liability for International Law Violations under the Alien Tort Statute

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Friday, May 4, 2018
Zarine Kharazian

In a 5-4 ruling issued on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) cannot be used to sue foreign corporations. With Justice Kennedy writing for the majority, the Court affirmed the Second Circuit’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit against Arab Bank PLC, a Jordanian financial institution with a branch in New York. The litigants claimed that the bank had facilitated transactions that had benefited terrorists that had committed attacks in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Kennedy was joined in his opinion by the Court’s conservative flank. The case is Jesner v. Arab Bank.