In civil litigation, imputed liability plays a critical role in holding large organizations responsible for the actions of their agents. In adjudicating civil claims for international human rights and humanitarian law violations, U.S. courts have disagreed both over the rules of imputed liability and the source of law for these rules. This roundtable will discuss imputed liability in light of the pending U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum and Mohamad v. Rajoub.
Richard L. Herz, Esq., Litigation Coordinator, is a 1993 Order of the Coif graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where he served on the Virginia Law Review. In 1994, he clerked for the Hon. Raymond A. Jackson, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. Herz was the 1997-1998 Natural Resources Law Institute Fellow at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, where he wrote "Litigating Environmental Abuses Under the Alien Tort Claims Act: A Practical Assessment," an article about suing multinational corporations for environmental abuses under the Alien Tort Claims Act. He is a member of the New York State Bar. At ERI, Herz directs EarthRights International's work on cases against multinational corporations for international human rights and environmental abuses. As such he is co-counsel for the plaintiffs in Doe v. Unocal, Bowoto v. Chevron, Sahu v. Union Carbide and Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. He has also filed amicus briefs in various U.S. Circuit and District courts on behalf of NGOs and law professors in important human rights cases, and he advises human rights and environmental activists and lawyers on international law.
Sir Kenneth James Keith, ONZ, KBE, QC is a New Zealand judge appointed to the International Court of Justice in November 2005.
Keith was educated at the Auckland Grammar School and studied law at the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, and Harvard Law School. He was a member of the faculty of Victoria University from 1962 to 1964 and from 1966 to 1991. He served in the New Zealand Department of External Affairs during the early 1960s, and as a member of the United Nations Secretariat from 1968 to 1970. After this, he served as the Director of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and as president of the New Zealand Law Commission. He was also a member of the Royal Commission on the Electoral System which was key in changing New Zealand's electoral system. In 1993 he was a member of the Working Party on the Reorganisation of the Income Tax Act 1976 which was instrumental in launching a fundamental reform the way New Zealand tax legislation was written.
From 1996 to 2003, Keith was a Judge of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, and was a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London. He was subsequently one of the inaugural appointments to the new Supreme Court of New Zealand which replaced the Privy Council. Prior to his appointment to the International Court of Justice, he sat (as required) as a Judge of Appeal in Samoa (since 1982), the Cook Islands (since 1982) and Niue (since 1995), and is Judge of the Supreme Court of Fiji. He has also sat as the Chair of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) tribunal (UPS v Canada).
He was admitted to the New Zealand Bar in 1961, and appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1994. In 1988 he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for service to law reform and legal education. In June 2007 he became a member of the Order of New Zealand.
He is the first New Zealander ever to be elected to a permanent seat on the International Court of Justice. He is not a stranger to the court, however, as he was previously a member of the New Zealand legal team in the Nuclear Tests cases before the International Court of Justice in 1973, 1974 and 1995.
Chimène Keitner is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of California, Hasting's College of the Law. Her scholarship focuses on the relationships among law, communities, and borders. She holds a J.D. from Yale, a doctorate from Oxford in international relations, and a bachelor's degree from Harvard. Professor Keitner, who was born in Canada, studied at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and was awarded a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans at Yale. During law school, she was a student director of the immigration clinic, an editor of the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Journal of International Law, and winner of the best team and best oralist prizes in the Yale moot court competition. After law school, she clerked for the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and spent three and a half years in private practice in San Francisco, where she represented plaintiffs in employment discrimination and consumer fraud class actions. Professor Keitner previously served as a consultant for groups including UNESCO, the Greenland Commission on Self-Government, and the Faroese Constitutional Committee on issues relating to cultural diversity and self-determination. In 2005, she served as co-counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First in the first civil suit to challenge the government's treatment of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2010, she represented amici Professors of Public International Law and Comparative Law in the U.S. Supreme Court case Samantar v. Yousuf. Professor Keitner also served as Co-Chair for the American Society of International Law's 105th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
Ramon Marks is a partner in the New York office of Arnold & Porter LLP with over 33 years of experience representing and counseling a diverse group of American, European, and Japanese clients on varied matters including complex international litigation, major regulatory investigations, and national security matters. In recent years, he has been particularly involved counseling and representing clients on sovereign immunity issues, sovereign debt controversies, Alien Tort Claims Act lawsuits, and litigations involving recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. He has also represented clients in federal and state investigations, and related lawsuits in the mutual fund and insurance industries. Mr. Marks frequently counsels foreign clients and government organizations on trade and national security law issues and has testified before US Congress on trade sanctions.
Ingrid Wuerth's research focuses on foreign affairs, international law and comparative constitutional law. She has written broadly on international law in domestic courts and U.S. foreign relations law, including articles published in the Chicago, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Harvard International law journals. She is currently working on an article on foreign relations and federal common law and a co-authored casebook on comparative constitutional law to be published by Aspen Publishers. Professor Wuerth joined Vanderbilt's law faculty in 2007 from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and was appointed director of Vanderbilt's International Legal Studies Program in fall 2009. She graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where she served on the law review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. After law school, she clerked for Judge Jan E. DuBois on the U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for Judge Jane R. Roth on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and practiced at Dechert Price & Rhoads in Philadelphia. In 1997 she was named a Chancellor's Scholar of the Alexander Humboldt Foundation, and she was named a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2007; in both capacities she served as a research fellow in Berlin, Germany. Professor Wuerth is currently co-chair of the American Society of International Law's Interest Group on International Law in the Domestic Courts and was a member of the program committee for the American Society of International Law's 2011 Annual Meeting.
Body of legal rules, norms, and standards that apply between sovereign states and other entities that are legally recognized as international actors. The term was coined by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham. Important elements of international law include sovereignty, recognition (which allows a country to honour the claims of another), consent (which allows for modifications in international agreements to fit the customs of a country), freedom of the high seas, self-defense (which ensures that measures may be taken against illegal acts committed against a sovereign country), freedom of commerce, and protection of nationals abroad. International courts, such as the International Court of Justice, resolve disputes on these and other matters, including war crimes. See alsoasylum; immunity.