US Apartheid Lawsuit

May 15, 2014 | 2012 - 2014, News

Today marks the deadline for the filing of a complaint in a US lawsuit against Ford and IBM for encouraging race-based human rights abuses in apartheid-era South Africa. Despite limitations being placed on the ambit of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) (that lets non-US-citizens pursue some cases in US courts over alleged violations of international law) in the case of Kiobel et al v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co et al., US District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan gave the Plaintiffs a chance to meet the new, tighter standards set by that court. In the Kiobel case, it was held that the ATS was presumed to cover only violations of international law occurring in the United States and that violations elsewhere must “touch and concern” US territory “with sufficient force to displace the presumption.”