French court of appeals rejects civil society organizations' admissibility as civil parties in case against Lafarge for alleged complicity in crimes against humanity in Syria

Lafarge Cement Plant

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24 October 2019

Sherpa and ECCHR to appeal decision at French Supreme Court

Author: Sherpa & European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)

Today, the Investigation Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeals rejected the civil society organizations Sherpa and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights’ (ECCHR) admissibility as civil parties in the case against French multinational construction company Lafarge for its role in Syria. Sherpa and ECCHR filed the original lawsuit against Lafarge, together with 11 former employees. The court’s decision on the indictment of former Lafarge executives and Lafarge as a legal entity has been postponed to 7 November 2019.

The organizations will appeal today’s decision at the French Supreme Court. The court will have the opportunity to examine this case, which has crucial repercussions for the role of civil society organizations in the fight against multinationals’ impunity for human rights violations, as well as victims’ access to justice...

“Civil party participation is essential to protect the rule of law and consolidate our democracy at a time when financial lobbying and political considerations sometimes slow down public prosecutors. Without our complaint, our expert judicial work, and support for the victims, such an investigation would not have been possible,” said Sandra Cossart, Sherpa’s Executive Director.

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