Shell Energy Entrepreneurs banner Yudala banner
Nigerians banned from taking human rights abuse cases to American courts

By News Express on 18/04/2013

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon

Views: 2,810


Nigerians who believe they could run to foreign courts to obtain justice from multinationals deemed to have violated their rights in Nigeria have had their hopes shattered after the United States Supreme Court ruled that such cases could not be pursued in America.   

The American apex court ruled yesterday that “Nigerian plaintiffs who said foreign oil companies had been complicit in violating their human rights may not sue in American courts,” reports The New York Times. “The decision limited the sweep of a 1789 law that had been used to address human rights abuses abroad,” the paper adds.

The decision was unanimous, but the justices divided along ideological lines in their reasoning, according to the report, adding: “Human rights groups said the decision was a sharp blow.”

“This decision so severely limited a law that has for decades been a beacon of hope for victims of gross human rights violations,” said Elisa Massimino, president of Human Rights First. “This decision cuts a hole into the web of accountability. Human rights abusers may be rejoicing today, but this is a major setback for their victims.”

Business groups however said the ruling would help put an end to baseless lawsuits.

“The US Supreme Court’s decision today ensures that trial lawyers cannot continue to use the American judicial system to expose global businesses to frivolous and costly lawsuits,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president of the US Chamber of Commerce.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, said a general presumption against the extraterritorial application of American law barred the suit.

“All the relevant conduct took place outside the United States,” he wrote.

He added that even some minimal contact with the United States would not be sufficient to overcome the presumption. “Even where the claims touch and concern the territory of the United States, they must do so with sufficient force to displace the presumption against extraterritorial application.”

He gave an example: “Corporations are often present in many countries, and it would reach too far to say mere corporate presence suffices.”

The New York Times report says that the case involved a joint subsidiary of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, based in the Netherlands, and Shell Transport and Trading Company, based in England. The subsidiary, incorporated in Nigeria, was accused of aiding and abetting in atrocities by Nigerian military and police forces against Ogoni villagers in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria.

“After being granted asylum in the United States, several Nigerians sued the parent companies under the 1789 law, the Alien Tort Statute, which is brief and cryptic,” says The New York Times. The Alien Tort Statute allows US federal courts to hear “any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.”

The law was largely ignored until the 1980s, when federal courts started to apply it in international human rights cases. A 2004 Supreme Court decision, Sosa v. Álvarez-Machain, left the door open to some claims under the law, as long as they involved violations of international norms with “definite content and acceptance among civilised nations.”

•Photo courtesy sweetcrudereports.com shows devastation caused by oil spill in Ogoniland. The man in the photo has been stripped of the right to sue in any American court.

Source News Express

Posted 18/04/2013 11:40:44 AM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

 

You may also like...
Stop Malabu oil scandal probe, Ijaw Youths tell...

DPR seals 87 fuel stations in Lagos zone,...

Reps secure release of kidnapped colleague

President Buhari is not the problem, By Afam...

PDP’s expulsion of Oyinlola a declaration of war...

Ngige’s governorship campaign funds linked to US fraud...

2015: APC set to wrestle power from PDP...

Man bags 14 years jail term for issuing...

Obiano reads Riot Act to IPOB, MASSOB as...

Illegal varsity operator to spend 10 years in...

Sheriff inaugurates parallel PDP EXCO in Delta

Federal Govt. must stop the impunity in Rivers...

 

Latest News Man divorces wife after 44 years of marriage based on information received in his dream Rice farm: Bayelsa community disowns ex-militant leader, demands his arrest Gowon, others shun book launch in memory of Tafawa Balewa Restructuring: Urhobo seek return to Midwest Region Expert links bush burning to asthma, cancer, premature death 2019: Fani-Kayode lashes 7 Northern governors for mobilisng for Buhari’s re-election •Dismisses them as parasites, vampires Benue Killings: I never ignored Ortom’s warning — Osinbajo My 10-year ban from holding public office in Ekiti a big joke — Fayemi Kidnapped lawmaker found dead Kano commissioner, sons in police net over ‘stone devil Kwankwaso’ remark OBJ sets record as Open University graduates 14,769 Okah, other Kuje Maximum Prisons inmates in safe custody — Prisons Service

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (314,094 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (303,111 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (243,380 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (200,762 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (189,528 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (178,772 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (155,016 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (138,946 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (135,745 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (124,036 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (121,033 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (118,553 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (33) Business (2,848) Business Verdict (32) Columnists (790) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (200) Entertainment (431) Features (541) Global Business Monitor (222) International (1,738) Interviews (139) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (100) News (31,928) Opinion (864) Pidgin (10) Politics (4,349) Religion (666) Sports (1,405) Stock Watch (25) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN Banner advert

CBN Words on marble

 

 

Thierry Henry in Lagos Nigeria

 

APO Group Partner

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement



 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

Loss Off Your Belly Fats, Upper Arm Fat and Body Fats In 2weeks Time.. Click HERE To Start Now!

Let us build the most comprehensive online database of worthy and credible Nigerians from all walks of life. It is worth doing!