Corporate Accountability

The primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is . . . the human person in his or her integrity.

Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate, 25 Tweet

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Fernando C. Saldivar, S.J.

Commonweal 148, no. 4 (April 2021),

On December 1, 2020, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the consolidated cases of Nestlé USA, Inc. v. Doe I and Cargill, Inc. v. Doe I. Depending on how the court rules, these cases could mark the end of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) as a means of holding corporations accountable in U.S. federal courts for human-rights abuses committed abroad. For victims of such abuses, particularly those in Africa, ATS has, until now, provided an opportunity to seek relief in the only jurisdiction where they can obtain an enforceable judgment, and where such a judgment is most likely to influence the future behavior of the offending corporations and their shareholders. While much of the world’s attention was focused last fall on whether the Supreme Court would find a way to meddle in the U.S. presidential election, human-rights lawyers and activists were paying close and anxious attention to the Nestlé and Cargill cases.

Blood Money: U.S. Arms Manufacturers Are Still Profiting From Atrocities

Fernando C. Saldivar, S.J.

Commonweal, October 30, 2020,

A century ago, as Europe was emerging from World War I, there was a consensus that arms proliferation had been one of the chief causes of the conflict. This is why Article Eight of the Covenant of the League of Nations affirmed that “the manufacture by private enterprise of munitions and implements of war is open to grave objections.” The League was therefore committed to the regulation and curtailment of the private arms industry.

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