[PDF] Tort litigation against multinationals (“MNCs”) for violation of human rights: an overview of the position outside the US

Author: Richard Meeran, Leigh Day & Co, Published on: 7 March 2011

Over the past decade, the US Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”)…has generally been viewed as the mechanism with the most promising potential for holding MNCs to account for human rights violations in developing countries. In recent years, US public interest lawyers have been at the forefront of developing ATS cases where MNCs are alleged to have been complicit with states in such violations…However a majority decision of the US Second Circuit Courts of Appeals in September 2010…held that customary international human rights law does not recognise the liability of corporations, and consequently that MNCs cannot be liable under “ATS”…This issue may well be finally resolved by the Supreme Court…Consequently, at this point in time it would seem timely to consider the state of play with regard to the continued development of more conventional tort law remedies. These too have yielded considerable success over the past decade or so. [refers to Anglo American, Anvil Mining, BHP Billiton, BP, Cambior, Cape plc, Chevron, Gencor, Merck, Minera Majaz (part of Monterrico Metals), Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin), Rio Blanco (part of Monterrico Metals), Rio Tinto, Securitas, Shell, Thor Chemicals, Unocal (part of Chevron), Zijin]

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Related companies: Anglo American Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals) BHP Billiton BP Cambior Cape PLC Chevron Gencor (mining) Merck Minera Majaz (part of Monterrico Metals) Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin) Rio Blanco Copper (part of Xiamen Zijin Tongguan Investment Development Corporation, part of Zijin Mining Group, Tongling Non-Ferrous Metals Group Holding Co. Ltd. y Xiamen C&D Coperation Ltd.) Rio Tinto Securitas AB Group Shell Thor Chemicals Unocal (part of Chevron) Zijin