Samuel Moyn

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Samuel Moyn is a professor of law at Yale Law School.

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Alien Tort Statute

Time to Pivot? Thoughts on Jesner v. Arab Bank

Now that liability for corporations (foreign ones, at least) under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) is off the table, the recriminations can begin.

Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank was genuinely shocking. The case involved victims of terrorism and the plaintiffs sought a tort remedy against alleged financial supporters of that wrong. Few believed that the conservative justices, whatever their corporate-friendly jurisprudence across the board, would foreclose a remedy on these facts. Yet they did.

International Law

The Parochialism of American Cosmopolitanism

What immediately strikes outsiders to international law as it is understood in the United States—whether foreigners on a visit or Americans who come to our debates with other expertise and training—is how critically the field is affected by its local institutions and protocols. The stereotype is that the purpose of induction into international law is to provide some cosmopolitan lingua franca, for the sake of the gentle civilization of nations by universal norms and the altruistic caste of their stewards, who represent humanity more than any country.

Endless War Watch, Summer 2016

This Sunday the New York Times Book Review prints my all-too-brief rundown of Mark Danner’s new Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War. Danner’s book is not a work of academic analysis or journalistic reportage but instead a synthetic account of America’s drift since 9/11 by someone who thinks the country has gone dreadfully wrong.