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10 Jan 2017

12 NGOs & investor groups incl. Intl. Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), EarthRights Intl., FIDH, Global Witness, Greenpeace USA

NGO letter to US Judiciary Committee re nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

We...write concerning the nomination of Senator Jefferson Sessions as the United States Attorney General. We urge you to use the confirmation hearings to clarify Senator Sessions’ commitment to upholding rule of law, including by supporting and enforcing anti-corruption measures, and measures to ensure accountability for human rights harms, including those committed by corporations. The U.S. government has a longstanding commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, including through...its endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights... When corporations commit wrongdoings that have human rights impacts, they very rarely are held to account. Such corporate impunity has a pernicious effect on our society as it denies justice to victims of the crime, weakens the rule of law, and creates an uneven playing field for law-abiding businesses. The Department of Justice is tasked with “seek[ing] just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior.”This should include prosecution of human rights crimes, including when such violations of law are committed by corporations...

Senator Sessions has recognized the need for corporate accountability and the current prosecution gap. He has made comments expressing a desire for ending corporate impunity... [We] urge you to use the confirmation process to clarify Senator Sessions’ views and commitments to the following:

1) Will Senator Sessions ensure effective prosecution of corporate human rights abuses as a key priority of the Department of Justice, and ensure U.S. compliance with international obligations?...

2) Will Senator Sessions continue rigorous enforcement of the [US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act]...? ...