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New "Corporate Crime Principles" aim to advance companies' legal accountability for human rights - an initiative of Amnesty Intl. & ICAR

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5 October 2017

Criminal law is important to hold companies accountable for human rights abuse & get redress for victims, says lawyer

Author: Corporate Crime Reporter (USA)

"Ian Binnie on the Corporate Crimes Principles and Bridging the Impunity Gap", 4 Oct 2017

The United States, France, Germany, and the UK need to start taking steps to hold multinational corporations criminally accountable for human rights abuses.

That's the conclusion of a group of legal experts who earlier this year released a report titled The Corporate Crimes Principles...

One of those experts who headed the effort is Ian Binnie, a retired Supreme Court Justice in Canada. He currently practices law at Lenczner Slaght in Toronto...

"When you have multinational companies operating around the world and the legal systems are national in scope, it becomes very difficult to hold corporations liable, both civilly and criminally. The courts could have been more adventurous in fashioning remedies to deal with transnational crime and civil liability."...

"Whereas in criminal procedure, there is a more level playing field. The corporate defendant is well resourced, but so is the state. The problem in the criminal field is generally the lack of political will to prosecute these offenses."...

"...[T]here are enough serious outrageous abuses of human rights out there. And the criminal law is the most effective way to get at it. And it should be coupled with concern for the victims and an attempt to get some civil redress, which will get some compensation for the victims, rather than just punishment for the corporations. But the criminal law has an important role to play."...

[Refers to Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals)]

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Author: المائدة المستديرة الدولية لمساءلة الشركات ومنظمة العفو الدولية

ICAR-Amnesty Corporate Crimes Principles

في أكتوبر 2016، أطلقت المائدة المستديرة الدولية لمساءلة الشركات ومنظمة العفو الدولية تقريرًا بمعاونة قانونيين وباحثين مختصين حول السبل المثلى لمساءلة الشركات عن الجرائم. ويركز التقرير على جرائم الشركات التي تنتهك حقوق الإنسان بشكل مباشر (على سبيل المثال العمالة القسرية والإتجار بالبشر وتسهيل عمليات العنف وخاصة العنف الجنسي)، ولكنه يتناول أيضًا الأفعال التي يمكن أن تؤدي إلى الإضرار ببعض الحقوق بشكل غير مباشر. وينقسم التقرير إلى عشرة مبادئ (قام مركز موارد قطاع الأعمال وحقوق الإنسان بترجمة أربعة منها) حول أسلوب مواجهة جرائم الشركات المعقدة وخاصة تلك العابرة للحدود، والتي تحدث عادة في سياق قانوني وسياسي معقد، كما تحوم حولها الكثير من المشاكل العملية. فالقوانين المعنية قد تنطبق في دولة واحدة فقط وليس في جميع الدول التي تحدث بها تلك الانتهاكات، وقد تكون القوانين مصممة للتعامل مع الأفراد وليس الشركات ككيانات. كما أن الحكومات قد لا تعطي أولوية لملاحقة الشركات حتى لا تؤثر على بيئة الاستثمار، كما أن المدعين العموم قد لا يكون لديهم الخبرة الكافية والموارد لملاحقتها.    

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Author: Béatrice Héraud, Novethic (France) (copyright: www.novethic.fr)

« De nouveaux principes destinés à combattre la criminalité des entreprises », 11 octobre 2016

Un groupe de juristes a élaboré, avec l’aide d’Amnesty International et de l’Icar (International corporate accountability roundtable), un ensemble de "principes relatifs à la criminalité des entreprises". Ces derniers sont destinés à faciliter les enquêtes et les poursuites dans les cas d’atteintes aux droits humains.

Ces principes ont fait l’objet d’une vaste consultation menée au niveau mondial auprès d’enquêteurs, de procureurs, d’avocats et d’acteurs de la société civile...

Ils sont conçus pour les gouvernements et les organes d'application des lois de tous les pays...

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6 October 2016

Corporate Crime: New principles will help governments and law enforcement tackle corporate abuse

Author: Amnesty International

Authorities in countries including France, Germany, the US and the UK must take immediate steps to start holding companies criminally accountable for serious human rights abuses, including those committed overseas, Amnesty International said today as it co-hosted the launch of a new set of principles for dealing with corporate crime. A group of legal experts, with the support of Amnesty International and the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), have developed a set of “Corporate Crime Principles” to advance the investigation and prosecution of human rights cases...The Corporate Crime Principles aim to address business involvement in a broad range of crimes linked to human rights abuses...[T]hey highlight, in particular, cross-border crime where a business headquartered in one country is involved in criminal activity in another...The principles highlight how political will and the commitment of law enforcement to tackling serious crimes can galvanize action in future cases...The Principles also serve as a call to action for law enforcement officials to take on corporate crime cases, backed-up with practical guidance on how to more effectively investigate such cases.

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6 October 2016

The Corporate Crimes Principles: Advancing Investigations and Prosecutions in Human Rights Cases

Author: Amnesty International & The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable

...These Principles address corporate crimes broadly, focusing not just on human rights abuses that should be criminalised, such as forced labour, human trafficking and aiding and abetting sexual and other forms of violence, but also conduct which may result in, or contribute to, human rights abuses...Tackling corporate crimes – especially when they occur across borders – raises many legal, political and practical challenges. Relevant laws may apply only within a State’s territory or may have been historically designed to address individuals rather than corporate entities. State authorities may not prioritise the investigation and prosecution of corporate crimes. Law enforcement officials may lack the expertise and resources to pursue this type of offence...In sum, the Principles are dedicated to implementing the State duty to protect as well as the realisation of the right to remedy and reparation for victims of corporate crimes. The Principles seek to ensure the highest possible level of accountability, deter future harm, encourage a responsible business culture and enable rights for the victims. They should be carefully studied and embraced by all State actors responsible for accountability for corporate crimes.

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