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7 Apr 2014

Owen Bowcott, Guardian (UK)

Documents reveal extent of Shell and Rio Tinto lobbying in human rights case [UK]

The extent of lobbying conducted by Shell and Rio Tinto in seeking legal support from the UK government to dismiss allegations of human rights abuses has been revealed…The documents relate to two…court cases against the firms at the US supreme court over alleged complicity in mistreatment of protesters and people who lived near extraction operations…Shell and Rio Tinto approached the Foreign Office…seeking UK government backing…The FCO initially intervened at the US supreme court with a legal brief supporting Shell…The FCO then added a second, neutral brief…Responding to the claims, the FCO said: "The UK intervened in this case to clarify our position on the proper limits of the extraterritorial application of US law….”…A Shell spokesman said: "Shell companies have the right and the responsibility to  make our position known to governments on any matters which affect us…”… Rio Tinto declined to comment on the documents.

Part of the following timelines

UK Foreign Office documents reveal Shell & Rio Tinto sought support from UK Govt. in US lawsuits alleging human rights abuses; includes company & govt. comments

Rio Tinto lawsuit (re Papua New Guinea)