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Notre Dame Law Review


This Essay considers the requirement of state action in suits brought against private corporations under the Alien Tort Statute(ATS). It argues that, in addressing this requirement, courts have erred in applying the state action jurisprudence developed under the domestic civil rights statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. It also argues that, even if it were appropriate to borrow in this manner from the § 1983 cases, such borrowing would not support the allowance of aiding and abetting liability against corporations, and that this liability is also problematic on a number of other grounds. The Essay assumes for the sake of argument that corporations are not categorically excluded as defendants under the ATS, although this is currently a matter of some controversy.1

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