This Note examines recent interventions in corporate human rights lawsuits by the executive branch from both legal and political perspectives. It first identifies a nascent trend in human rights litigation in U.S. courts-namely, the propensity of the Bush administration to intervene on behalf of corporate defendants accused of violating human rights in the developing world-by examining the factual and procedural history of three contemporary lawsuits. It then explores the role of the political question, act of state, and international comity doctrines in these and similar suits, and advances a method for applying all three doctrines in a "human rights-friendly" manner. Finally, the Note examines the Bush administration's interventions from a human rights policy perspective and concludes that for political, in addition to legal reasons, the executive branch should desist from intervening on behalf of corporate defendants in human rights lawsuits.
Michael J. O'Donnell,
A Turn for the Worse: Foreign Relations, Corporate Human Rights Abuse, and the Courts,
B.C. Third World L.J.