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29 Aug 2008

Lawyers Weekly [Canada]

Binnie calls for corporate accountability [Canada]

Lawmakers should consider enacting new legislation that would enable Canadian companies to be sued domestically in superior court for alleged complicity in human rights violations abroad, says Supreme Court of Canada Justice Ian Binnie. The judge said that Canada and many other nations have signed on to international treaties and conventions that guarantee various labour and human rights, yet most have not created fora to air and legally determine complaints that domestic companies have aided and abetted human rights abuses... Calling the [US] Alien Tort Claims Act “a very effective mechanism,” Justice Binnie suggested “if that legislation were replicated in more countries, there would be more avenues whereby companies could clear their names of allegations made against them, or complainants could obtain redress, depending on what the evidence shows.”... His comments anticipate the thrust of a soon-to-be released [International Commission of Jurists] report on Corporate Complicity in International Crimes... [refers to Talisman]