punished offenses against the law of nations
that were not recognized as
the Binding Nature of the Customary Law of Nations
, 14 u.
Vattel divided the law of nations
into four categories: (1) the
As recognized by the Sosa Court, '[i]n the years of the early Republic, this law of nations
comprised two principal elements:' (1) 'the general norms governing the behavior of national states with each other' (executive and legislative in nature), and (2) 'judge-made law regulating the conduct of individuals situated outside domestic boundaries and consequently carrying an international savor' (which are, according to Blackstone, mercantile questions arising from the customary practices of international traders and admiralty).
The original version of the Statute gave the federal district courts "cognizance, concurrent with the courts of the several States, or the [federal] circuit courts, as the case may be, of all causes where an alien sues for a tort only in violation of the law of nations
or a treaty of the United States.
22) Article I grants Congress the power to, inter alia, "define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations
," (23) "declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal," (24) "raise and support Armies," (25) and "make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers.
to whimsically define new violations of the law of nations
Oxford Professor Travers Twiss discussed piracy in his 1861 treatise, Law of Nations
, precisely in those terms:
The ATS covers actions by aliens for violations of the law of nations
, but that does not imply extraterritorial reach-such violations affecting aliens can occur either within or outside the United States.
2007), stating that the international sources used by plaintiffs did not satisfy the law of nations
requirement of near universality, and additionally, that the case facts were not sufficiently analogous to those cases which did find terrorist actions to be violating the law of nations
9) That is, despite virtual unanimity among civilized nations in recognizing tort actions against corporate entities, it is the law of nations
ultimately controlling who is liable under the ATS.
The following essay argues that the promissory legal obligations, norms and duties articulated in good faith by the Allied powers during the agony of World War II created a Law of Nations
consisting of common rights and protections for individuals and nations that are the legal preconditions for legitimate state authority and its subsequent exercise of power or force.