Alien Tort Statute Case Update: In Re South African Apartheid Litigation


A District Court judge for the Southern District of New York last week denied in part and granted in part a motion to dismiss in the seminal Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) case, In Re South African Apartheid Litigation. The In Re Apartheid case is particularly significant because it helps to clarify how courts may analyze liability in ATS cases for companies conducting business in countries with poor human rights records. The ruling required that companies have “knowledge” that they are assisting a crime, rather than “intent.” Knowledge is easier to demonstrate in court. The court also noted that merely conducting business in a pariah country or providing fungible goods or financing is not likely to generate aiding and abetting liability under the ATS. Rather, the court looked for goods that were specifically tailored for the government and used to help commit a crime. The court seemed to be searching for a tight causal nexus between the goods supplied and the particular harm suffered. The court also concluded that conspiracy liability is not available under the ATS.

Please see full alert for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Foley Hoag LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.