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22 Sep 2011

Lisa Nandy MP, Huffington Post [UK]

Justice Secretary Clarke Denies Access to Justice for Victims of Corporate Abuse [UK]

Ken Clarke accused the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination of being 'disingenuous' for claiming that his proposals would make it more difficult for victims of human rights abuse by British-based multi-nationals to gain access to justice. These proposals, contained in the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill…will abolish the recoverability of the success fee from losing defendants, meaning that if lawyers are to profit from a case, they must take it out of the victims' damages…Clarke maintains that the system…has attracted litigation from other countries to the UK. This is a strange argument when you consider that the firms against which litigation has been pursued are British firms…[a]nd since the no win/no fee system was introduced; only nine such cases have been brought in the UK…It cannot be right to rebalance the system so far in favour of powerful, multinational companies…[refers to Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin), Trafigura]