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15 Aug 2014

Sebastian Rosemont, Foreign Policy in Focus (USA)

Lawsuit against Hudbay in Canada may open new avenue to claims for abuses committed abroad, says commentary

"Seeking Justice in Canada: Hitting Mining Companies Where They Live", 12 Aug 2014

...[T]he harsh reality is that Guatemalans have little to show for their efforts to secure their rights through their country’s court system...Facing dim prospects in Guatemala, these three cases have been brought as a joint suit against Hudbay Minerals [in Canada]...This is the first one to win a judge’s approval to move to the trial stage...There are several legal obstacles for bringing a case to Canada. The company defendants typically argue that Canadian courts lack jurisdiction...Or they might say that the case ought to be heard in the country where the alleged offence took place...Or they might claim that whatever happened was unpredictable...People in countries with weak judicial systems now have at least the possibility to seek justice in...Canada. If the verdict goes in favor of the plaintiffs, a new transnational understanding of rule of law will emerge...[Refers to Anvil Mining, Cambior, Copper Mesa, Compañía Guatemalteca de Níquel, Hudbay Minerals, Tahoe Resources]