Alien Tort Statute Law and Legal Definition

Alien Tort Statute also called the Alien Tort Claims Act 28 USCS § 1350 is a United States federal law which allows federal district courts to have original jurisdiction of any civil action brought by an alien for a tort, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States. The Alien Tort Claims Act permits victims of international human rights abuses to sue in U.S. courts. Plaintiffs will usually only choose this option if the defendant is located in, or has property or assets in the United States. Recently, this statute has become significant as a means holding government, military, and corporate leaders responsible for the human rights abuses, including torture, committed as a result of their presence in a foreign country.