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95 PHIL 228, GR NO L-5731, JUNE 22, 1954
This is a petition instituted in the CFI under the
provisions of Philippines Property Act of the US against
the Sun Life Assurance company of Canada to compel the
latter to comply with the demand of the former to pay
him the money which of the proceeds of an
endowment policy payable to Aihara, Japanese national.
The defenses of Sun Life Assurance are that
immunities in Trading with the Enemy Act of US is
doubtful application in the Philippines and defendant is a
trustee of the fund and under legal obligation to see to it
that it is paid to the person entitled.
CFI granted the petition. Hence, appeal was filed
with the SC contending that CFI erred in holding that the
law is binding upon the inhabitants of the Philippines.

WON the point-of-hire classification employed by

the School is discriminatory.
Yes, If an employer accords employees in the
same position and rank, the presumption is that these
employees perform equal work. In this case, the
employer has hailed to discharge this burden hence there
is no evidence that foreign-hires perform 25% more
efficiently than local-hires. Salaries should not be used as
an enticement to the prejudice of local-hires. Section 18
of Art 2 and Section 3 of Art 13 of the Constitution, these
relations are not merely contractual but are so impressed
with public interest that labor contracts, CBA must yield
to the common good.

WON the Trading with the Enemy Act apply to
Philippines Govt.
Yes, A foreign law may have extraterritorial effect
in a country other than the country of origin provided the
former in which it sought to be made operative gives its
consent. The consent need not be expressed it is enough
to be implied from its conduct or from that of its
authorized officers.
In this case, the said act was conformed by
President Roxas in a joint statement signed by him and
by Commissioner McNutt. Ambassador Romulo also
formally expressed the conformity of the Government of
the Philippines to the approval of said act to the American
Senate. It is well settled in the US that its laws have no
extraterritorial effect. The application of said law in the
Philippines is based concurrently on Philippines Property
Act of 1946 and on the tacit consent and conduct of the
Government of the Philippines in receiving the benefits of
its provisions.


133 SCT 1659 (2013)


333 SCRA 13, GR NO 128845, JUNE 1, 2000

Petitioner Esther Kiobel, representing a group of

individuals from the Ogoni region in Nigeria, filed a class
action lawsuit against Respondents, the Royal Dutch
Petroleum Co., Shell Transport and Trading Company PLC,
and Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria,
LTD (Royal Dutch) under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS).
The ATS grants jurisdiction to some federal courts for
certain violations of international law. Petitioners allege
that Royal Dutch aided the Nigerian government in
committing various acts of violence against protestors of
the oil exploration projects in the Ogoni region.
Petitioners claim that they have standing to sue under
the ATS because the history, text, and purpose of the
statute support the application of the ATS to actions in
foreign countries. Petitioner also contends that previous
court decisions interpreted the ATS to extend beyond U.S.
territory. In response, Royal Dutch argues that the ATS is
not an exception to the presumption that U.S. law does
not apply extraterritorially, and should not be applicable
to actions outside of the U.S. The Court's decision in this
case will clarify the reach of the U.S. federal courts'
jurisdiction over certain extraterritorial tort claims.



Private respondent (School) pursuant to PD 732 is

a domestic educational institution established primarily
for dependents of foreign diplomatic personnel and other
temporary residents. The School hires both foreign and
local teachers as members of its faculty classifying its as
foreign and local-hires.
The School grants foreign- hires certain benefits
not accorded to local-hires. During the negotiations for a
new CBA, petitioner Intl. School Alliance of Educators,
legitimate labor union and collective bargaining
representative of all faculty members contested the
difference in salary rates between foreign-hires and localhires.
Petitioner filed a notice of strike hence DOLE
Acting Secretary Trajano resolved the issues in favor of
the School. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration
but it was denied by DOLE Secretary Quisumbing.

Esther Kiobel represents a class of citizens from

the Ogoni region in Nigeria who filed a class action suit
against the respondents Royal Dutch Petroleum, Shell
Transport and Trading Company and Shell Petroleum
Development Company of Nigeria (Royal Dutch
Petroleum) in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York in 2002. Respondent
corporations are incorporated in the Netherlands, United
Kingdom, and Nigeria, respectively. Respondents are
companies that have been engaged in oil exploration and
production in the Ogoni region of Nigeria since 1958. In
response to Royal Dutch Petroleums exploration efforts,
a group of Ogoni citizens formed the Movement for the
Survival of Ogoni People which protested the
detrimental environmental effects that Royal Dutchs oil
exploration has on the region.

Petitioners in this case (Kiobel) allege that

Royal Dutch Petroleum partnered with the Nigerian
government in 1993 to stop the Ogoni from protesting
the oil exploration projects. Petitioners allege that
Nigerian military forces committed atrocities against the
Ogoni people including raping, murdering, beating, and
making unlawful arrests to further the governments
efforts to stop the protesting, which would allow Royal
to continue oil exploration in the region.
Petitioners claim that Royal Dutch Petroleum provided the
Nigerian soldiers with transportation, food, compensation
and staging areas for carrying out attacks against the
Kiobel brings the claim under the Alien Tort
Statute (ATS), which allows foreign citizens to bring
suits in U.S. federal courts for certain violations of the law
of nations. Kiobel brought suit arguing that Royal Dutch
Petroleum had aided and abetted the Nigerian
government, or was otherwise complicit, in the atrocities
committed against the people. In 2006, the District Court
dismissed some of the claims of aiding and abetting but
allowed claims of aiding and abetting arbitrary arrest and
detention; crimes against humanity; and torture or cruel,
inhuman, and degrading treatment to stand. The District
Court recognized the importance of interpreting the law
properly and thus certified the whole case for
interlocutory appeal by the United States Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit ruled
that the ATS had never served as a basis for liability on
the part of corporations. The court dismissed all of
Kiobels claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. This
case was the first time that the Second Circuit directly
addressed whether its jurisdiction under ATS extends to
civil actions involving corporations.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the
case on February 28, 2012 and on March 5, 2012 ordered
re-arguments. The re-arguments will be on the question
of under what circumstances the Alien Tort Statute allows
American courts to litigate tort claims that are based on
actions that did not occur within the territory of the
United States.
Whether an American federal court can hear a
claim under the Alien Tort statute, when that claim arose
out of conduct in a foreign country.
Petitioners argue that the text, history, and
purpose of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) support their
contention that the ATS was applicable in foreign nations.
However, Respondents argue that the ATS is not an
exception to the presumption that U.S. law does not
apply extraterritorially, and should not be applicable to
actions outside of the U.S.
Business Implications
BP America and others (BP America) point out
that the U.S corporations often have contacts with foreign
military and government entities when the corporations
conduct foreign business. BP America maintains that if
ATS liability for aiding and abetting is extended in this
case, many corporations conducting business in
developing countries will be at risk of billion-dollar claims
based solely on their incidental contacts with the
governing regimes in these countries. The Chamber of
Commerce further argues that if ATS is extended to cases
involving U.S. corporations conduct in foreign countries,

the ATS could effectively act as embargos or international
Moreover, the Chamber of Commerce
contends that the ATS will impose additional risks to
corporations and discourage corporations from investing
Furthermore, the Chamber of Commerce
argues that the decrease in investment in developing
nations will not only harm corporations but also the
developing nations themselves, as well as negatively
affect U.S. foreign policy. The Chamber of Commerce also
contends that the United States has often encouraged
investment in developing nations to further political
policies, and the ATS will serve as a barrier to those
Ambassador David J. Scheffer (Scheffer)
contends that if the ATS has extraterritorial reach, it will
enforce the global trend that is moving towards applying
more civil liability for corporations that violate
international human rights, and as a permanent member
of the United Nations Security Council, the. U.S. should
support the trend and hold corporations accountable for
their human rights violations. Scheffer also argues that if
the ATS has foreign reach, it will signal to other countries
Americas commitment to justice, and promote
international justice. The members of the Parliament of
the Federal Republic of Germany (German Parliament)
also maintain that the ATS would support notions of
international justice, and provide a remedy to victims of
human rights violations.
The German Parliament
contends that the ATS does not act as a barrier to
international corporations, since the number of human
rights claims that are brought against multinational
corporations are very small due to the high cost of
bringing a class action lawsuit. Petitioners further state
that the settlements in these types of human rights cases
are so minor for large corporations that they will not
greatly hamper income so drastically as to prevent a
corporation from considering foreign investment.
Sovereign Power vs. Protection of Human Rights
The Cato Institute states that a sovereign should
limit its punishment of crimes to those crimes that occur
within the sovereigns jurisdiction, independent of the
nature of the crime. The Cato Institute argues that
allowing the Petitioners to continue to litigate the case
would greatly expand the boundaries of the reach of
American courts in cases dealing with international law.
The Cato Institute maintains that this will create an
overreach of U.S. power, which will undermine U.S.
foreign policy by allowing U.S. courts to decide disputes
in foreign countries. The Federal Republic of Germany
believes that if the Court finds for Petitioners, the
sovereign judicial powers of foreign nations will be
reduced even though they have stronger interests in
cases that concern their own corporations.
Commissioner for Human Rights (Pillay), believes that
victims of human rights violations are entitled to
compensation for the atrocities committed against them
and this compensation is necessary because often human
rights violations create an inability to support a family or
make a livelihood. Pillay also states that often there are
no avenues in the domestic judicial systems to recover
for human rights violations and if Petitioners are
unsuccessful in this instance, a potential avenue for
recovery will be lost to victims of human rights violations.
Petitioners also state that the need for a forum to hear
the human rights violations far outweighs any infraction
on the sovereignty of a nation.

Application of Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain to International
Petitioner argues that the seminal case, Sosa v.
Alvarez-Machain, already resolved the question of
whether the ATS allows U.S. courts to recognize a cause
of action for international law violations that occur
outside the United States. Petitioner contends that Sosa,
a case in which plaintiffs sued the defendants for
kidnapping under the ATS, held that ATS jurisdiction
extends to a small subset of common law tort cases
derived from international law. Petitioner points out that
the Sosa court held that the plaintiffs were not entitled to
damages under the ATS, since the ATS was a
jurisdictional statute that was intended to regulate
common law causes of actions for a small number of
international law violations, including crimes against
ambassadors, breaches of safe conducts, and piracy.
Petitioner argues that Sosa authorized ATS jurisdiction to
include human rights violations by foreign nationals in its
discussion of remedies. Petitioner further argues that
international law prohibits any government from
committing human rights violations against their citizens,
especially within their own sovereignty. Moreover,
Petitioner states that no court since Sosa has held that
ATS jurisdiction is limited to conduct occurring within the
U.S. or on the high seas.
Respondent argues that Sosa stands for the
proposition that to apply the ATS and federal common
law is to recognize U.S. law in a foreign country.
Respondent asserts that, under the ATS, courts apply
federal common law to a violation of an international law
norm, therefore applying U.S. law to foreign nations.
Thus, respondent argues, that while these causes of
action do look partially to international law for
substantive content, because it is based on a violation of
an international law custom, it is nonetheless an
application of U.S. federal common law. Respondent
argues that to find otherwise would likely be a violation of
international law, which prohibits universal civil
jurisdiction. Respondent further argues that even if it
would not be a clear violation of international law, it
would be an arguable violation. In support of this,
Respondent cites Sosa , which lists the potential violation
of international law as a consideration a court should use
when determining whether or not to extend jurisdiction to
international tort cases under the ATS. Respondent
further contends that there is no acceptable circumstance
where it would be appropriate for the U.S. to apply its
own laws to a case such as this one.
Presumption Against Extraterritoriality
Petitioner argues that the presumption against
extraterritoriality is not applicable to the ATS because it is
a jurisdictional statute and that the presumption against
extraterritoriality does not apply to jurisdictional statutes.
Petitioner also asserts that the ATS does not have any
geographic limitations on the scope of its jurisdiction.
Moreover, Petitioner compares the ATS to U.S.
adjudication of international tort claims (also known as
Transitory Tort claims), where both parties are based
outside of the United States. Petitioner states that
international tort claims may be adjudicated in the U.S.
regardless of where the cause of action arose, so long as

requirements. Petitioner argues that both the ATS and the
Transitory Tort doctrine derive their power from
customary international law and not the substantive law
of any particular nation. Petitioner notes that although
the ATS uses some federal common law to provide rules,
this is consistent with international law principles, which
dictate that each state may enforce international law
through their own legal system. Thus, petitioner contends
that adjudication of this case would not apply U.S. law
Respondent contends that the ATS and federal
common law should not be interpreted to apply to
conduct on foreign soil because U.S. law is presumed not
to apply extraterritorially. Respondent thus argues that,
by extending ATS and federal common law to suits
involving foreign territories and parties, the Court would
extend U.S. law outside of its borders. Respondent
contends that this presumption against extraterritoriality
applies to the ATS despite the fact that it is a
jurisdictional statute. In support of this claim, Respondent
cites the Sosa decision, in which the Court determined
that the decision to create a private right of action is
usually best left to the legislature. Respondent continues
extraterritoriality presumption to also apply to the ATS.
Respondent argues that, although several lower courts
have permitted suits arising from incidents in foreign
nations, the Court should explicitly foreclose such suits
because they cause international friction. In response to
Petitioners comparison of international tort cases and
ATS claims, Respondent replies that ATS cases and
international tort claims require entirely different
procedural rules: while international tort cases are
adjudicated in a U.S. forum, the law of wherever the
violation occurred supplies the choice of law. Respondent
argues that in contrast, ATS cases require application of
U.S. federal common lawmeaning the law of the nation
where the incident occurred has no impact.
History, Text, and Purpose of the ATS
Petitioner contends that maintaining federal
jurisdiction over these types of alien tort cases is
appropriate and has been assumed since the formation of
the United States. Petitioner argues that the ATS was
enacted to adjudicate treaty violations and therefore
extends territorial jurisdiction everywhere international
law reaches. Moreover, Petitioner argues that even if the
presumption against extraterritoriality does apply, it is
rebutted by the text, history, and purpose of the statute.
Petitioner states that the ATS has long been understood
to include violations committed in foreign nations by
foreign actors. In support of this, Petitioner points to the
fact that Congress has long supported international
human rights compliance and accountability and that, by
restricting the jurisdiction of ATS claims, U.S. foreign
policy would be compromised. Petitioner additionally
argues that the founders did not apply a territorial
limitation to the scope of the ATS.
Respondent supports its ATS interpretation by
claiming that, where Congress has intended for an Act to
include violations that occur on foreign soil, it has
explicitly said so. Respondent cites the Torture Victim
Protection Act (TVPA) as an example of this. The TVPA
explicitly extends jurisdiction to acts occurring in foreign
nations regardless of the actors. Respondent further
contends that application of the ATS has historically
involved incidents occurring on U.S. soil. Respondent thus

concludes that only Congress may outline territorial

jurisdiction of the ATS and, if it intends for jurisdiction to
include acts committed on foreign soil by foreign nations,
it must explicitly say so. Respondent argues that to
conclude otherwise would be to establish absolute U.S.
jurisdiction over all international matters.
Application of U.S. Law to International Claims
Petitioner argues that U.S. law is not applied here
because the ATS and federal common law call for the
application of international law to any disputes filed
under the statute. Petitioner states that these laws are
utilized worldwide and are easily applied by the federal
courts to ATS disputes. In this way, Petitioner argues that
it is not U.S. law that applies extraterritorially but rather
international law that applies universally. Petitioner
argues that the history of the ATS demonstrates that
Congress intended it to provide federal courts with
extraterritorial reach, a prospect shown by the many
foreign tort cases litigated in U.S. federal courts.
Petitioner also notes that adjudication of foreign
violations does not violate the prohibition on universal
civil jurisdiction because there are restrictions on ATS
jurisdiction, such as where defendant is not sufficiently
connected to the forum nation to satisfy due process
jurisdictional limitations are sufficient to prevent U.S.
courts from unilaterally exercising universal civil
Respondent responds first by pointing to the fact
that the case before the Court is especially sensitive
because it involves passing judgment on the commercial
conduct of a foreign government, not just a nongovernment actor. Respondent additionally argues that
the ATS was enacted as a means of preventing
international conflict and was not intended to include
violations committed by alien actors in foreign nations.
Respondent states that the alleged conduct occurred
entirely in Nigeria and Nigeria objects to U.S. adjudication
of the matter because they believe it will jeopardize their
ability to reconcile the country with the Ogoni people.
Respondent argues that foreign nations often object to
the application of laws outside the construct of their own
sovereignty because they choose their own means of
dealing with internal conflict. Respondent points to South
Africa as an example of a country that took an alternative
routeby creating the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (TRC)to address the disputes that arose
in the aftermath of apartheid. Respondent argues that
this as an example of a situation where imposition of
foreign jurisdiction would have been a serious disruption
of South Africas autonomy.
The re-arguments in this case will focus on the
interpretation of the Alien Tort Statute as it relates to the
ability for an American court to have jurisdiction on civil
cases that would otherwise be outside their reach. The
Courts decision will greatly affect corporate investment
in emerging markets and international human rights law.
Petitioners will argue that they must be allowed to bring
their claim in a United States court in order to allow for
justice for human rights cases, while Respondents will
urge to the Court that there is no jurisdiction on the part
of the United States and the case would be better served

in a jurisdiction that has greater ties to the underlying


G.R. No. 162230, April 28, 2010
This is an original Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of
the Rules of Court with an application for the issuance of
a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against the
Office of the Executive Secretary, the Secretary of the
DFA, the Secretary of the DOJ, and the OSG.
Petitioners are all members of the MALAYA LOLAS, a nonstock, non-profit organization registered with the SEC,
established for the purpose of providing aid to the victims
of rape by Japanese military forces in the Philippines
during the Second World War.
Petitioners claim that since 1998, they have approached
the Executive Department through the DOJ, DFA, and
OSG, requesting assistance in filing a claim against the
Japanese officials and military officers who ordered the
establishment of the comfort women stations in the
Philippines. But officials of the Executive Department
declined to assist the petitioners, and took the position
that the individual claims of the comfort women for
compensation had already been fully satisfied by Japans
compliance with the Peace Treaty between the Philippines
and Japan.
Hence, this petition where petitioners pray for this court
to (a) declare that respondents committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack or excess of discretion in
refusing to espouse their claims for the crimes against
humanity and war crimes committed against them; and
(b) compel the respondents to espouse their claims for
official apology and other forms of reparations against
Japan before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and
other international tribunals.
Respondents maintain that all claims of the Philippines
and its nationals relative to the war were dealt with in the
San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951 and the bilateral
Reparations Agreement of 1956.
On January 15, 1997, the Asian Womens Fund and the
Philippine government signed a Memorandum of
Understanding for medical and welfare support programs
for former comfort women. Over the next five years,
these were implemented by the Department of Social
Welfare and Development.
WON the Executive Department committed grave abuse
of discretion in not espousing petitioners claims for
official apology and other forms of reparations against
Petition lacks merit. From a Domestic Law Perspective,
the Executive Department has the exclusive prerogative

to determine whether to espouse petitioners claims

against Japan.
Political questions refer to those questions which, under
the Constitution, are to be decided by the people in their
sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary
authority has been delegated to the legislative or
executive branch of the government. It is concerned with
issues dependent upon the wisdom, not legality of a
particular measure.
One type of case of political questions involves questions
of foreign relations. It is well-established that the
conduct of the foreign relations of our government is
committed by the Constitution to the executive and
legislativethe politicaldepartments of the government,
and the propriety of what may be done in the exercise of
this political power is not subject to judicial inquiry or
decision. are delicate, complex, and involve large
elements of prophecy. They are and should be
undertaken only by those directly responsible to the
people whose welfare they advance or imperil.
But not all cases implicating foreign relations present
political questions, and courts certainly possess the
authority to construe or invalidate treaties and executive
agreements. However, the question whether the
Philippine government should espouse claims of its
nationals against a foreign government is a foreign
relations matter, the authority for which is demonstrably
committed by our Constitution not to the courts but to
the political branches. In this case, the Executive
Department has already decided that it is to the best
interest of the country to waive all claims of its nationals
for reparations against Japan in the Treaty of Peace of
1951. The wisdom of such decision is not for the courts to
The President, not Congress, has the better opportunity
of knowing the conditions which prevail in foreign
countries, and especially is this true in time of war. He
has his confidential sources of information. He has his
agents in the form of diplomatic, consular and other
The Executive Department has determined that taking up
petitioners cause would be inimical to our countrys
foreign policy interests, and could disrupt our relations
with Japan, thereby creating serious implications for
stability in this region. For the to overturn the Executive
Departments determination would mean an assessment
of the foreign policy judgments by a coordinate political
branch to which authority to make that judgment has
been constitutionally committed.
From a municipal law perspective, certiorari will not lie.
As a general principle, where such an extraordinary
length of time has lapsed between the treatys conclusion
and our consideration the Executive must be given

ample discretion to assess the foreign policy
considerations of espousing a claim against Japan, from
the standpoint of both the interests of the petitioners and
those of the Republic, and decide on that basis if
apologies are sufficient, and whether further steps are
appropriate or necessary.
In the international sphere, traditionally, the only means
available for individuals to bring a claim within the
international legal system has been when the individual
is able to persuade a government to bring a claim on the
individuals behalf. By taking up the case of one of its
subjects and by resorting to diplomatic action or
international judicial proceedings on his behalf, a State is
in reality asserting its own right to ensure, in the person
of its subjects, respect for the rules of international law.
Within the limits prescribed by international law, a State
may exercise diplomatic protection by whatever means
and to whatever extent it thinks fit, for it is its own right
that the State is asserting. Should the natural or legal
person on whose behalf it is acting consider that their
rights are not adequately protected, they have no remedy
in international law. All they can do is resort to national
law, if means are available, with a view to furthering their
cause or obtaining redress. All these questions remain
within the province of municipal law and do not affect the
position internationally.
Even the invocation of jus cogens norms and erga omnes
obligations will not alter this analysis. Petitioners have
not shown that the crimes committed by the Japanese
army violated jus cogens prohibitions at the time the
Treaty of Peace was signed, or that the duty to prosecute
perpetrators of international crimes is an erga omnes
obligation or has attained the status of jus cogens.
The term erga omnes (Latin: in relation to everyone) in
international law has been used as a legal term
describing obligations owed by States towards the
community of states as a whole. Essential distinction
should be drawn between the obligations of a State
towards the international community as a whole, and
those arising vis--vis another State in the field of
diplomatic protection. By their very nature, the former
are the concern of all States. In view of the importance of
the rights involved, all States can be held to have a legal
interest in their protection; they are obligations erga
The term jus cogens (literally, compelling law) refers
to norms that command peremptory authority,
superseding conflicting treaties and custom. Jus cogens
norms are considered peremptory in the sense that they
are mandatory, do not admit derogation, and can be
modified only by general international norms of
equivalent authority
WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DISMISSED.