The Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) of 1789 was part of the first law to be enacted by the First Congress of the USA. Its original purpose was primarily to remedy harms suffered by aliens at the hands of US citizens. For two centuries it remained dormant. Then it became a vehicle to advance human rights.


The Alien Tort Statute of 1789 is no longer available to foreigners to claim for wrongdoings on foreign soil_, Stellenbosch Law Review, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2023, pp. 54-75B