Advocating to Reduce Barriers to Judicial Remedy
As corporations have gained increasing power and rights in the global marketplace, they have also been immunized from responsibilities and accountability. Nowhere is this more damaging than in the judicial system where mechanisms that afford legal remedy to victims of corporate human rights abuses have been under attack.
The courts have always been key to delivering justice for those who have suffered harms. States must ensure that their domestic legal systems are effective, recognizing that judicial mechanisms are key to guaranteeing that those negatively affected by corporations have access to remedy.
ICAR works to ensure that corporate abuse does not go unpunished and that victims of this abuse receive justice and remedy in the courts. We do this by advocating to reduce barriers to remedy and by challenging governments to create and amend legislation that reflects the current, complex, global economy.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) begins its fall session. On the docket is Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, which is scheduled to be heard on October 11. The case will determine whether the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) can provide an avenue to deliver justice to victims of corporate harms. The ATS permits non-Americans to sue for international human rights abuses and is key to holding corporations accountable.
OTTAWA / September 28, 2017 - Legislators and experts from Canada, the U.S. and Europe are gathered in Ottawa today to review governments’ progress on protecting human rights within the context of transnational business.
As policy experts from around the world gather in Ottawa tomorrow to discuss the role of home states in ensuring business respect for human rights, a central question will be how Canada can emerge as a leader in this rapidly evolving field.
It is a critically important time to have this conversation. As the push for corporate accountability faces setbacks in the United States, Canada may hold the key for legislative progress in North America on business and human rights.
On June 27, 2017, ICAR, along with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) filed an amici curiae brief in support of the petitioners in Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, which is scheduled to be heard at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on October 11 of this year. The case will determine whether the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) can provide an avenue to deliver justice to victims of corporate harms. The ATS permits non-Americans to sue for international human rights abuses.
One of the largest barriers to remedy for victims of business-related human rights violations is the limitation of liability of parent companies for the actions of their subsidiaries.
We challenge governments to change laws to reflect today’s complex global economy and ensure that parent companies are held accountable for the human rights impacts of their subsidiaries.
On December 4, 2013, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR) CORE, and the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ) launched “The Third Pillar: Access to Judicial Remedies for Human Rights Violations by Transnational Business.” The Report was researched and written by Professor Gwynne Skinner, Professor Robert McCorquodale, Professor Olivier De Schutter, and Andie Lambe, all international experts on business and human rights.