Transnational civil litigation and corporate liability: Mexico v Smith & Wesson

Educational event by Asser Institute with Thilo Marauhn about a case within transnational liability for gun control

Photo: cottonbro via Pexels

Strate­gic civil litigation is being in­creasingly employed to protect public interests in the context of trans-border problems. The civil complaint brought by Mexico against Smith & Wesson and other gun manu­facturers in the District Court of Massa­chusetts presents a distinct model within this broader trend for two main reasons: the appearance of Mexico in its sovereign capacity and the tort-based formu­lation of its claims, which eschews inter­national human rights law.

This event will therefore address the potential impli­cations of this case within trans­national corporate liability for gun control and other areas. Topics dis­cussed will include issues of juris­diction, admiss­ibility and applicable law related to Mexico’s seisin of the U.S. court system, as well as deri­vative modes of corporate lia­bility such as comp­licity. Additionally, speakers will broach the extra­territorial obli­gations of companies in respect to damage involving their products occurring across borders, including obli­gations arising out of inter­national human rights law, inter­national human­itarian law, and the law relating to the arms trade.


When? May 2, 2022, 4pm
Where? Online

This event is organised by T.M.C. Asser InstituteRegistration is required.



  • H.E. José Antonio Zabalogitia, Ambassador of Mexico to the Kingdom of the Netherlands 


  • Dr. León Castellanos-Jankiewicz Researcher in International Law, Asser Institute 
  • Prof. Dr. Thilo Marauhn, Chair of Arms Control Law, University of Amsterdam 

Opening presentation

  • Mr. Alejandro Celorio Alcántara, Principal Legal Advisor to the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs 


  • Prof. Carlos M. Vázquez, Professor of Law, Georgetown University
  • Prof. Leila Sadat, James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law, Washington University in St Louis
  • Dr. Christian Schliemann, Senior Legal Advisor, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights 
  • Dr. Dalia Palombo, Assistant Professor, Tilburg University 

Panel moderator

  • Dr. Marina Aksenova, Assistant Professor, IE University Law School, Madrid