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Sarei and ors v Rio Tinto PLC and Rio Tinto Limited, Judgment on Motion to Dismiss, ILDC 604 (US 2002), 221 F.Supp.2d 1116 (C.D. Cal. 2002), 9th July 2002, District Court for the Central District of California [C.D. Cal.]



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Whether the exhaustion of local remedies was required before stating a claim under the Alien Tort Statute (‘ATS’) in the United States.

Whether the plaintiffs adequately pleaded that a sovereign state's medical blockade of an island was a violation of the law of war.

Whether racial discrimination could be the basis for a claim under the ATS.

Whether the rights to life and health could be violated by perpetrating environmental harm.

Whether a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea could be the basis for a claim under the ATS.

Whether Rio Tinto was liable for Papua New Guinea's conduct as a state actor for purposes of establishing a violation of the law of nations under the ATS.

Whether the act of state doctrine or political question doctrine barred adjudication of claims.

Keywords: Act of state doctrine; Armed conflict, non-international; Attribution; Civil liability; Comity; Crimes against humanity; Customary international law; Exhaustion of local remedies; General principles of international law; Human rights, civil and political rights; Human rights, derogations; Human rights, economic, social, and cultural rights; Human rights, right to health; Human rights, right to life; Immunity from jurisdiction, agents of states; International crimes; International humanitarian law, war crimes; Jurisdiction of states, extra-territorial; Nationality of corporations; Non-justiciability; Peremptory norms / ius cogens; Racial discrimination; Sustainable development

Legal Material.  55247 words. 

Subjects: Law of the Sea ; Public International Law ; International Law ; Law

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