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Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Amicus Brief)

November 4th, 2012

Please let this letter serve as an Amicus Brief for the case of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.  The question before the Court is whether or not the United States government has the moral and political obligation to hear cases in the United States’ justice system where events took place outside of the United States’ jurisdiction.  In this case, the Royal Dutch Petroleum company “assisted the Nigerian government in its human rights abuses by providing transportation, compensation, and shelter to soldiers that shot and killed civilians.”  Kiobel is now attempting to have his case heard in the United States’ justice system.
The Respondent argues that corporations and companies cannot be considered “individuals” and therefore, they cannot be tried as such.  They claim that only people inside of a company can be held responsible, not the company itself.  However, this is inaccurate.  In the United States’ government, companies are allowed the right to free speech, which is an individual’s right.  It was outlined in the Constitution that this was a right to United States citizens, not companies and corporations.  Due to the fact that these companies are given this right and treated as an individual entity, they should then be held responsible to all rules and regulations that apply to individuals.  By aiding and abetting corrupt soldiers in Nigeria, these companies have contributed to the death of multiple innocent citizens.  Due to the facts presented, as a friend of the Court, we would ask the Court to rule in favor of the Petitioner, Kiobel.