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13 May 2004

Paul Tarr, New York-based lawyer and public affairs consultant, in Ethical Corporation

Analysis: Is trying to kill the Alien Tort Claims Act digging for fool’s gold?

To date, major brands including Unocal, ChevronTexaco, Union Carbide [part of Dow Chemical], ExxonMobil, Gap, Coca-Cola, [Fresh Del Monte Produce], Citigroup, Ford and Nike have been sued under the ATCA for complicity in human rights violations...Ultimately, MNCs can have an impact in the public debate over the ATCA. They can do so by demonstrating a commitment to transparency and dialogue with governments and NGOs, and through a palpable sense that abuses committed in connection with their overseas investments will not be tolerated.

Part of the following timelines

Coca-Cola lawsuit (re Colombia)

Nike lawsuit (Kasky v Nike, re denial of labour abuses)

Unocal lawsuit (re Myanmar)

Texaco/Chevron lawsuits (re Ecuador)

Union Carbide/Dow lawsuit (re Bhopal, filed in the US)