Talisman lawsuit (re Sudan)

Sudan army By: Tim Freccia via www.enoughproject.orgIn 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]

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31 January 2003

[PDF] Legal Issues in Corporate Citizenship

Author: Halina Ward, International Institute for Environment and Development

Mandatory legislation on various aspects of business transparency is emerging around the world. It can form part of company law, environmental regulation, or tailored legislation for institutional investors or on social and environmental reporting. Pressure for enhanced public sector accountability has also given rise to calls for company reporting on revenues paid to host government by companies in the extractive industries...A new wave of legal actions – mostly in US courts, but also in some EU countries – is testing the boundaries of existing legal principles in relation to some of the most difficult issues of the CSR agenda. For example, a series of cases in the US, France and Belgium are testing how fundamental principles of international law – particularly human rights law – apply to parent companies of multinational corporate groups.

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1 January 2003

Deconstructing Engagement: Corporate Self-Regulation in Conflict Zones – Implications for Human Rights and Canadian Public Policy

Author: Georgette Gagnon, independent human rights consultant; Audrey Macklin, University of Toronto; Penelope Simons, University of Toronto

This paper examines the existing governance gap in the accountability of TNCs for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law associated with their extraterritorial operations. It assesses the adequacy of efforts at self-regulation that entail the development and implementation of voluntary standards and selfassessment and verification techniques. [case study on Talisman Energy in Sudan; also refers to Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC), Petronas, Sudapet, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Chevron (part of ChevronTexaco), Arakis Energy, Shell, Total, OMV, Gulf Petroleum [Qatar], Slaveneft, ONGC Videsh (part of ONGC [Oil & Natural Gas Corporation]), PricewaterhouseCoopers, Premier Oil, BP, Ernst & Young]

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31 December 2002

[PDF] Judging Corporate Accountability in theGlobal Economy

Author: Elliot J. Schrage, Adjunct Senior Fellow in Business and Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School, in Columbia Journal of Transnational Law

Simply slamming the door on those seeking relief in U.S. courts is bad foreign policy, bad economic policy, and bad legal practice...An effective policy would harness the power of private litigation in U.S. courts as a vehicle for encouraging other countries and the corporations that operate in them to promote respect for the rule of law and improve the administration of justice. [refers to Barclays, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Fresh Del Monte Produce, Gap, General Motors, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Levi Strauss, Pfizer, Statoil, Talisman, Texaco (part of ChevronTexaco), Unocal]

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25 March 2002

Talisman questions memo on Sudan ethnic cleansing

Author: Reuters

Talisman Energy Inc. said on Monday it does not know the origin of a memo that human rights groups say shows the Canadian oil producer asked Sudan's army in 1999 to remove villages near its oil facilities in the war-torn African country...Human rights groups have filed the document as evidence in U.S. federal court in a lawsuit alleging Talisman has conspired with the Sudanese government in ethnic cleansing that killed or removed non-Muslim civilians living in proximity to Sudan's oil production regions.

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22 March 2002

Canadian oil group asked Sudan army to 'remove' villagers, document alleges

Author: Edward Alden, Financial Times

Talisman Energy faces lawsuit over army's 'cleaning-up operations' in oilfields

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25 February 2002

Amended Complaint Filed in Talisman Suit

Author: Carey R. D'Avino and Stephen A. Whinston of Berger & Montague, PC

The complaint alleges that Talisman and the government are violating the human rights of Christian and other non-Muslim minorities in Southern Sudan by conducting a deliberate campaign of ethnic cleansing to clear the land for oil exploitation.

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30 November 2001

Litigation Update: A Summary of Recent Developments in U.S. Cases Brought Under the Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Protection Act

Author: Jennifer Green [staff attorney at Center for Constitutional Rights] and Paul Hoffman [civil rights attorney and editor of ACLU International Civil Liberties Report], in ACLU International Civil Liberties Report 2001 [American Civil Liberties Union]

[includes updates on human rights-related lawsuits against Unocal, Chevron, Royal Dutch/Shell, Southern Peru Copper Corporation, Rio Tinto, Union Carbide, Pfizer, various U.S. apparel retailers & manufacturers of clothing produced in Saipan factories, Gap, Talisman Energy, Coca-Cola, Texaco, DynCorp, ExxonMobil]

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9 November 2001

RIGHTS: Canadian Oil Firm Sued In U.S. Court Over Sudan Dealings

Author: InterPress Service

An anti-slavery group has filed suit in U.S. court against the largest foreign investor in Sudan's oil sector. The move follows years of campaigning to force Western oil companies out of the country. The target of the litigation is Canada-based Talisman Energy Co., Inc. The company strongly denied all charges.

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9 November 2001

Suit filed in U.S. against Talisman

Author: Lily Nguyen, Globe & Mail [Canada]

Sudan class action disappoints firm - Talisman Energy Inc. is "disappointed" about a class-action lawsuit filed in the United States against the company yesterday alleging complicity in human rights abuses in Sudan, a spokesman for the company said. "Obviously, Talisman believes in and respects human rights of all individuals around the world, so we're disappointed to learn of this action," said David Mann, the company's manager of investor relations. "We believe we have actively promoted transparency, respect for human rights and an end to the civil war in Sudan."

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9 November 2001

Talisman disputes charges of 'ethnic cleansing' in Sudan U.S. lawsuit launched

Author: Claudia Cattaneo, Financial Post [Canada]

Talisman Energy Inc. said it "strongly disputes" allegations made in a class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in the United States that seeks substantial compensation for victims of the Sudan civil war.

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