U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Case Status


Docket Number

09-2778-CV et al.


Case Updates

Second Circuit orders dismissal of Alien Tort Statute lawsuit

August 21, 2013

The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered a district court judge to dismiss a decade-long ATS lawsuit against a number of companies that human rights advocates and plaintiffs’ lawyers claimed “aided and abetted” South African apartheid by doing business in the country during that period.

U.S. Chamber files supplemental brief

December 22, 2009

NCLC filed a supplemental brief urging the Second Circuit again to dismiss the case. In the supplemental brief, NCLC highlighted the absence of a norm for corporate criminal liability. NCLC also argued that, even if there existed a norm of corporate criminal liability, that norm would not apply in a civil context.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

August 24, 2009

NCLC urged the Second Circuit to dismiss an Alien Tort Statute claim against corporations for allegedly aiding and abetting South African apartheid. In this case, South African apartheid victims claim a group of corporations supported the South African government's apartheid policy by providing technology and financing, among other things, to the government. In its brief, NCLC noted that the political branches of the United States government settled on a policy of constructive engagement with South Africa in the hopes of spurring political change. This policy of constructive engagement encouraged business transactions between the South African government and U.S. businesses. This case contravenes that policy and further undermines the South African government's own efforts at reconciliation. NCLC also argued that federal laws, such as the Alien Tort Statute, do not apply to extraterritorial conduct. If allowed to continue, this lawsuit would discourage overseas investment by U.S. businesses.

Case Documents