Human Rights in Business release handbook & policy recommendations on suing companies in EU for abuses abroad

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Author: Antoni Pigrau Solé, Maria Álvarez Torné, Antonio Cardesa-Salzmann, Maria Font I Mas, Daniel Iglesias Márquez y Jordi Jaria I Manzano

El presente manual pretende ser una aproximación panorámica a los principales problemas procesales y sustantivos que plantea la presentación de una reclamación ante los tribunales europeos en relación con la vulneración de derechos humanos fuera del territorio de los Estados de la Unión Europea (UE) a causa de la actividad de empresas vinculadas a los mismos. El manual se basa en una selección de problemas técnico-jurídicos, a partir de los que intenta identificar los principales obstáculos y las posibles soluciones a la hora de armar una demanda con expectativas razonables de éxito en relación con la materia referida. El supuesto habitual de los casos a los que pretende dar respuesta este manual se refiere a violaciones de derechos humanos en Estados de la periferia de la economía global en los que se dan dos elementos determinantes. Por un lado, las víctimas acostumbran a encontrarse en una situación de extrema vulnerabilidad, en la que confluyen una situación socioeconómica muy frágil y unas posibilidades de acción institucional asimismo muy endebles. Por otro lado, se trata de sistemas jurídicos poco efectivos en la protección de las víctimas, a causa de la corrupción y de la debilidad de los poderes del Estado, así como porque dependen de las inversiones provenientes de las empresas que son responsables últimas de las vulneraciones de los derechos humanos...Con ello, se pretende trazar un mapa lo más claro y, al mismo tiempo, lo más completo posible de las posibilidades y los problemas que presenta este tipo de litigación para las víctimas potenciales....

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Author: Antoni Pigrau Solé, Maria Álvarez Torné, Antonio Cardesa-Salzmann, Maria Font I Mas, Daniel Iglesias Márquez e Jordi Jaria I Manzano

O presente manual pretende ser uma aproximação panorâmica dos principais problemas processuais e substantivos que se colocam ao ser apresentada uma reclamação perante os Tribunais europeus relativamente à vulneração de direitos humanos fora do território dos Estados da UE, causada pela atividade das empresas vinculadas aos mesmos. O manual baseia-se numa seleção de problemas técnicojurídicos, a partir dos quais tenta identificar os principais obstáculos e possíveis soluções no momento de preparar e delinear uma ação judicial com razoáveis expetativas de êxito em relação com a matéria referida. Os casos habituais que pretende dar resposta este manual, referem-se às violações de direitos humanos em Estados da periferia da economia global nos que operam dois elementos determinantes. De uma parte, encontram-se as vítimas que costumam estar submetidas a uma extrema vulnerabilidade, confluindo uma situação socioeconómica muito frágil e uma possibilidade de ação institucional igualmente fraca. Por outra parte, estamos perante sistemas jurídicos pouco efetivos no que respeita à proteção das vítimas, dada a dependência de estes Estados dos investimentos provenientes das empresas que são os responsáveis em última instância, da vulneração dos direitos humanos...[S]erão apresentados...os elementos fundamentais para traçar um roteiro para litigar junto dos tribunais dos Estados Europeus...para obter compensação dos danos ocasionados pelas atividades das empresas transnacionais domiciliadas na Europa em países terceiros por violação direta ou indireta dos direitos humanos...

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Author: Antoni Pigrau Solé, Maria Álvarez Torné, Antonio Cardesa-Salzmann, Maria Font I Mas, Daniel Iglesias Márquez & Jordi Jaria I Manzano

L’objectif du présent guide est d’offrir une vue d’ensemble des principales difficultés de procédure et de fond découlant de la présentation, devant les tribunaux européens, d’une demande pour atteinte aux droits de l’homme en dehors du territoire des États membres de l’Union européenne résultant de l’activité d’entreprises liées à ces États. Ce guide identifie, à partir d’une sélection de problèmes technico-juridiques, les obstacles majeurs que l’on peut rencontrer et les solutions possibles pour former une demande ayant des chances raisonnables d’aboutir.  Les cas examinés dans ce guide se réfèrent, pour l’essentiel, à des violations des droits de l’homme commises dans des pays situés à la périphérie de l’économie mondiale...[C]et ouvrage s’intéressera aux aspects fondamentaux qui servent à définir la marche à suivre pour engager une procédure visant à obtenir réparation, devant les tribunaux des États européens, en cas d’atteintes aux droits de l’homme, directes ou indirectes, commises dans des pays tiers par des entreprises multinationales dont le siège se situe en Europe, avec pour modèle les pays énumérés ci-dessus.

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Article
1 September 2016

Human rights in European Business. A practical handbook for civil society organisations and human rights defenders

Author: Antoni Pigrau Solé, Maria Álvarez Torné, Antonio Cardesa-Salzmann, Maria Font I Mas, Daniel Iglesias Márquez & Jordi Jaria I Manzano

This handbook is written as a rough overview of the main procedural and substantive problems that can arise when you file a claim in European courts in connection with human rights violations caused outside EU territory by the activities of companies linked to EU Member States.  The handbook is based on a selection of legal problems and paperwork hurdles we have chosen to help you identify the main obstacles in setting up a claim with a reasonable expectation of success and the possible solutions to those obstacles.  The cases in this handbook usually concern situations of human rights violations taking place in countries on the fringes of the global economy and containing two decisive elements. First, the victims are usually in an extremely vulnerable situation, a combination of a highly fragile socio-economic situation and extremely faint possibilities of institutional action. Second, the legal systems involved are ineffective at protecting the victims, because there is corruption, because the government’s powers are weak, and because the countries depend on the investments made by the very companies that are ultimately responsible for the human rights violations...We look at...the fundamental elements for tracing out a road map for suing in European courts...for compensation for damages caused in third countries by transnational companies domiciled in Europe due to direct or indirect violations of human rights...

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1 September 2016

Removal of barriers to access to justice in the European Union. Executive summary

Author: Human Rights in Business

...Part I addresses the jurisdictional challenges that third-country victims of human rights abuses committed by EU-based multinational companies (MNCs) face in seeking redress in EU Member State courts...The allocation of jurisdiction in transnational tort litigations against MNCs in the European Union is discussed and compared with the United States...Part I offers some recommendations how jurisdictional challenges can be addressed.  Part II addresses the issues concerning applicable law. It thus deals with the question under what circumstances the national rules of tort law of the EU Member States would be applied in foreign direct liability cases brought before EU Member State courts...In addition, it also addresses some of the main practical and procedural barriers...Part III addresses the effectiveness of non-judicial remedies, in particular, company-based grievance mechanisms and international arbitration...The effectiveness of each mechanism is evaluated based on criteria established by the UN Guiding Principles: legitimacy, accessibility, predictability, equitability, transparency, rights-compatibility, a source of continuous learning, and engagement and dialogue. Part IV deals with the intersection of corporate responsibility to respect human rights and European tort law in the context of complex corporate structures and business relationships...

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