alien tort statute, twombly, pleading standard, accomplice liability, corporations, human rights violations


When a corporation operating abroad either conspires with, or aids and abets, an oppressive regime in violating human rights, victims can seek redress in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute. In assessing such claims, some courts have chosen to apply a liberal pleading standard, while others have applied a heightened pleading standard to combat frivolous lawsuits. This Note suggests that courts should apply a third standard--the plausibility standard applied to claims under section 1 of the Sherman Act by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. This Note argues that applying that standard to Alien Tort Statute accomplice liability claims best addresses procedural and practical concerns of both the government and defendants, while ensuring that the judicial system continues to afford plaintiffs the ability to seek justice.

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