94
DOROTHEA BEANE & PHILIP HADLEY
in dismissing
Kiobel,
leading to review by the Supreme Court. Judge Pos-
ner proves instructive in addressing this argument in
Flomo
:
If a plaintiff had to show that civil liability for such violations was
itself a norm of international law, no claims under the Alien Tort
Statute could ever be successful, even claims against individ-
uals; only the United States, as far as we know, has a statute
that provides a civil remedy for violations of customary interna-
tional law
.
13
In other words, Judge Posner states that if the subject-matter jurisdiction
argument defeats the merits argument, then the ATCA will be rendered
useless, because there is no customary international law allowing aliens to
sue for violations of customary international law.
IV. The General Rationale for Tort Liability
Stepping away from the subject-matter jurisdiction arguments, the first step
in a policy analysis of ATCA corporate liability for international human rights
violations requires a basic review of the aims of American tort law. A tort
is a private wrong or injury to an individual
.
14
Simply put, there are two
central tenants of tort law: 1) compensation of victims; and 2) deterrence
of wrongdoers
.
15
The ATCA is an exemplar of tort legislation — it exists
to compensate alien victims, and to deter violators of the law of nations
provided by the ATS.”
13
Flomo v. Firestone Natural Rubber Co.
,
.
14
§
1
.
15
Id.
.
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