Supreme Court to Decide Whether Corporations Immune to Human Rights Suits

Washington, DC

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) begins its fall session. On the docket is Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, which is scheduled to be heard on October 11. The case will determine whether the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) can provide an avenue to deliver justice to victims of corporate harms. The ATS permits non-Americans to sue for international human rights abuses and is key to holding corporations accountable.

The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) and EarthRights International (ERI) will be out in force at a protest on the day of the hearing. We cannot stand by as the Court, following in the footsteps of Citizens United, recognizes more and more corporate rights, without likewise acknowledging corporate responsibilities and choosing #PeopleOverProfits. Stand with us and get a free People Over Profits t-shirt. On October 11, we will be in front of SCOTUS from 8:30 a.m. until oral argument begins at 11:00 a.m. with insights from advocates in the fight for corporate accountability.

“Where corporations are involved in human rights abuses, they must be held accountable. To deny victims access to justice is unfair and results in corporate impunity,” said Amol Mehra, Executive Director of ICAR. “That’s why we are calling on SCOTUS to choose people over profits,” Mehra said.

Katie Redford, ERI’s Co-Founder and Director, highlighted the case’s importance for the environment. “If corporations cannot be sued when they create widespread environmental damage, then it will be left to governments to finance the clean-up. It raises the question of what kind of society we want. Do we want to live in a world where corporations can get away with murder and destruction, while it is left to ordinary citizens to pick up the pieces?”

For more details about the protest, RSVP to our Facebook event here.


EarthRights International (ERI) is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, defined as “earth rights.” ERI specializes in fact-finding, legal actions against perpetrators of earth rights abuses, training grassroots and community leaders, and advocacy campaigns. Through these strategies, EarthRights International seeks to end earth rights abuses, to provide real solutions for real people, and to promote and protect human rights and the environment in the communities where it works.

Valentina Stackl, Communications Manager, ERI, (202) 466 5188 x 100,

The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) harnesses the collective power of progressive organizations to push governments to create and enforce rules over corporations that promote human rights and reduce inequality. ICAR’s membership is composed of 40 human rights, environmental, labor, and development organizations.

Amol Mehra, Executive Director, ICAR, (202) 296-0146,

Heather Cohen, Legal & Policy Associate, ICAR, (202) 855-0305,