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20 Dec 2019

Friends of the Earth International

Historic hearing in France under duty of vigilance law over impact of Total's activities in Uganda, says NGO

"Total in court for human rights violations in Uganda: Historic hearing in France under the duty of vigilance law", 12 Dec 2019

The organizations are suing the oil giant on account of its activities in Uganda. Over two years of investigations have revealed serious violations of and threats to human rights and environmental abuses including land grabbing and intimidation, all in relation to planned drilling in the heart of a protected natural area...The judgment is expected on 30 January 2020...

Two representatives of Ugandan communities traveled to Paris to testify on the impacts of the loss of their land and the harassment and intimidation they have endured.

Jelousy Mugisha, pastor and community leader explains: "For us, it is impossible to access the courts in Uganda. So I hope that the French justice system will help us. There are tens of thousands of people affected. The impossibility of cultivating our land is manifested through the famine we suffer and through the school dropout rates among our children. We have alerted Total Uganda several times to our plight yet their course has not altered in any shape or form. "...

After questioning the jurisdiction of the High Court and the legal standing of the organizations, Total set out its arguments to weaken the interpretation of the law and try...to escape responsibility...

In court, Total questioned the use of summary proceedings and the urgency of the situation in Uganda...

Part of the following timelines

6 NGOs file lawsuit against Total over alleged failure to respect French Duty of Vigilance law in its operations in Uganda

Total lawsuit (re failure to respect French duty of vigilance law in operations in Uganda)