The Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) of 1789 grants jurisdiction to US Federal Courts over “any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States.” An interesting development has been the recent efforts to use ATCA to sue transnational corporations for violations of international law in countries outside the US. If these suits are allowed to proceed, then ATCA could become a powerful tool to increase corporate accountability.
Here you can find a list of significant international cases related to the Alien Tort Claim Act and corporations trying to get away with their crimes in poor countries and on indigenous territories. (NOTE: FAIR USE COPYRIGHT ONLY)
Because of challenges to plaintiffs suing under the Alien Tort Claims Act, such as the protection of world leaders by sovereign immunity, the actual impact of ATCA suits has been generating publicity and stirring up politics.