Competent Human Translators for Document Translation Services, Professional Foreign Language Translations, Product Safety and the Alien Tort Claims Act

We’ve blogged about expert legal translation services for the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) in the context of research on human subjects by private companies.  Recently, due largely to the influx of defective Chinese products, the use of the Alien Tort Claims Act as grounds for a liability claim has increased, and so has the need for accurate English-Chinese translation and Chinese-English translation services. According to the Act, federal jurisdiction exists for civil actions filed by aliens injured by conduct that constituted a violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.


More so, the suit must “rest on a norm of international character accepted by the civilized world and defined with specificity comparable to the torts recognized by the international body of law”.

In today’s globalized world – where products are made in Country A and shipped to Countries B through Z- an international level of expectations has emerged. This is particularly true as to safety. Thus, when a Chinese consumer good or food product is found to be unsafe and when the reason for the lack of safety is a general negligent manufacturing practice, a claim brought under the Act should be assessed based on international expectations for safety and not Chinese customs.

In order to file a claim, having a professional foreign language translation service is essential. It will provide English translations of documents and other forms of evidence written or recorded in Chinese, pertaining to the working conditions and norms of the defendant company, as well as Chinese translation services.

See Slawotsky, Joel. “Liability for Defective Chinese Products Under the Alien Tort Claims Act.” Washington University Global Studies Law Review. 7 Wash. U. Global Stud. L Rev. 519. 2008.

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