THE ALIEN TORT CLAIMS ACT
97
cause of the atrocities that sparked such litigation in the first place.
20
We
take umbrage with this characterization, as it fails to appreciate the im-
pact of a large judgment against a corporation. Even if awarding victims of
abuses in Guatemala does not solve the problem of political instability in
that country, it certainly has the potential to solve the problem of businesses
taking advantage of that instability. It is said that corporate investment in
third-world countries improves economic development, which it certainly
does. The problem, however, is when economic development comes at the
expense of human rights. The situation boils down to the lesser of two evils:
a country stricken with poverty, or one stricken with torture and extrajudicial
killings. Neither outcome is preferred, but surely the penalization of corpo-
rations involved in human rights violations will change corporate behavior.
It may cost a corporation more money to abide by human rights norms, so
the best way to encourage this kind of behavior is to make it more expen-
sive to violate human rights norms (i.e., via ATCA liability).
VI. Arguments against Suing Corporate Human
Rights Violators
In arguments against ATCA liability, international criminal tribunals such as
the Rwandan and Yugoslavian tribunal
s
21
as well as the Nuremberg Tri-
20 Demian Betz,
Holding Multinational Corporations Responsible for Human Rights
Abuses Committed by Security Forces in Conflict-Ridden Nations: An Argument
Against Exporting Federal Jurisdiction for the Purpose of Regulating Corporate Be-
havior Abroad
,
.
21 E.g.,
Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.
,
.
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