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Talisman lawsuit (re Sudan)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Published on: 18 February 2014

In 2001, the Presbyterian Church of Sudan, as well as a number of Sudanese individuals, filed suit in US federal court against Talisman Energy.  They alleged the company’s complicity in the Sudanese Government’s human rights abuses against non-Muslim Sudanese living in the area of Talisman’s oil concession in southern Sudan and that these abuses amounted to genocide.  The plaintiffs allege that the Sudanese Government was engaged in an armed campaign of ethnic cleansing against the non-Muslim Sudanese which included massive civilian displacement, extrajudicial killing of civilians, torture, rape and the burning of villages, churches and crops.  The court granted Talisman's motion to dismiss on 12 September 2006 finding that the plaintiffs had failed to supply sufficient admissible evidence to permit the lawsuit to go to trial on the plaintiffs' claims.  In February of 2007 plaintiffs appealed this dismissal to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  On 2 October 2009, the Court of Appeals ruled on this case, and it affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the lawsuit.  The Court of Appeals also found that to determine liability under the Alien Tort Claims Act the plaintiffs must show that the defendant "purposefully" aided and abetted a violation of international law.  On 15 April 2010, the plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court asking the court to hear an appeal of the lower court's dismissal of the case.  On 20 May 2010, EarthRights International filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court urging it to hear the appeal and overturn the dismissal of the case.  In October 2010 the Supreme Court announced that it would not hear the appeal in this case.

- "2nd Circuit Finds Aid Must Be 'Purposeful' For Alien Tort Statute Liability", Mark Hamblett, New York Law Journal, 6 Oct 2009
- "Canada says U.S. can't hear lawsuit", Kelly Patterson, CanWest News Service, 26 May 2007
- "Presbyterian Church of Sudan Appeals Genocide Case In US", Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife, 17 Mar 2007
- "Judge throws out lawsuit against Talisman", CBC News, 12 Sep 2006
- “Canada asked U.S. to intervene in Talisman Case”, Jeffrey Jones, Reuters, 6 Jul 2005
- “Talisman Suit to Proceed”, BBC News, 20 Mar 2003

- Talisman Energy: Press Release: Lawsuit Against Talisman Energy Dismissed, 12 Sep 2006
- Talisman Energy: Corporate Responsibility - Human Rights
- Berger & Montague, P.C. (plaintiffs’ counsel): Talisman Energy Dealt a Powerful Setback in US Federal Court, 10 Sep 2002

- US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit: [PDF] Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman Energy, 2 Oct 2009 [affirming the lower court's dismissal of the lawsuit]
- US District Court for the Southern District of New York: [PDF] Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman Energy, 12 Sep 2006 [order granting defendant's motion to dismiss]

- [PDF] Presbyterian Church of Sudan, et al. v. Talisman Energy, Inc. - Brief for EarthRights International as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners, 20 May 2010
- [PDF] Presbyterian Church of Sudan, et al. v. Talisman Energy, Inc. - Petition for Writ of Certiorari, Carey D'Avino & Paul Hoffman [counsel for plaintiffs], 15 Apr 2010
- Institute on Religion and Democracy: [PDF] Amicus Brief - Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman Energy, 7 Mar 2007 [amicus brief filed with US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in support of the Presbyterian Church of Sudan]
- Washington Legal Foundation: [PDF] Amicus Brief: Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman Energy, 8 Mar 2007 [amicus brief filed with US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in support of Talisman Energy]
- [PDF] Presbyterian Church of Sudan v. Talisman Energy - Opening Brief For Plaintiffs - Appellants, 26 Feb 2007 [brief filed with US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit by the Presbyterian Church of Sudan]

Related companies: Talisman