The Alien Tort Statute (ATS) has provoked extensive, passionate debate, despite the relatively modest practical import of ATS cases. The outsized controversy surrounding the statute reflects its role in a longstanding struggle for control over the interpretation and enforcement of international law, and over whether that law will serve as a meaningful restraint on the actions of states, state officials, and corporations. As a result, the history of the ATS offers a unique window into the modern history of international law.
The Curious History of the Alien Tort Statute,
Notre Dame L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndlr/vol89/iss4/1