Worldwide Multilingual Legal Translator Services and Another Look at Kiobel

Legal Document Translation Services to Comply with the Alien Tort Claims Act

We’ve blogged about foreign language pharmaceutical document translation services for private companies conducting research on human subjects in developing countries and about multilingual corporate translation services in the context of product safety and the Alien Tort Claims Act. Prior to the landmark Kiobel decision, courts have repeatedly come to the conclusion, relying on US domestic law, that corporations -just as individuals – could be viable defendants under the Alien Torts Statute. However, per the Kiobel decision, this tradition drastically changed.

The case stems from allegations that Royal Dutch Shell aided and abetted in human rights violations perpetrated by the Nigerian government. In its decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the theory that corporations can be held liable in the US under the Alien Tort Claims Act – thus significantly limiting legal recourse available to victims of human rights abuses attributable to a corporate entity.

The case stems from allegations that Royal Dutch Shell aided and abetted in human rights violations perpetrated by the Nigerian government. In its decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the theory that corporations can be held liable in the US under the Alien Tort Claims Act – thus significantly limiting legal recourse available to victims of human rights abuses attributable to a corporate entity.

The court based its decision on the premise that the scope of liability under the Act is ultimately determined by customary international law. Or the ‘norms that are specific, universal, and obligatory in the relations of states inter se – such as international tribunals and treaties, etc. However, as there is a lack of such norms, it is important for companies and in-house counsel to oversee all overseas operations in order to avoid any potential lawsuits against corporate officers or the company itself.

Contact our legal document translation firm to obtain multilingual document translation and deposition interpretation services from and into Russian, Chinese, Romanian, Thai, Malay, French, Turkish, Indonesian, Latvian, and other foreign languages during Alien Torts Claims Act litigation and FCPA litigation.

Up Next: Global Document Translations for Expatriates
and the Tax Code