Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.

Firm: Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Issue Area: International Human Rights

Case summary

Cravath represented Shell Oil in a lawsuit brought by Nigerian citizens alleging that Shell coordinated with the Nigerian government to murder, torture, and imprison the plaintiffs and their relatives. Lawyers for Cravath convinced the court to dismiss the case by arguing that corporations should be immune from liability for violations of international law. The Supreme Court affirmed years later, holding that U.S. law did not apply to Shell’s conduct abroad.

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