This is the third in a series of regular posts highlighting resources relevant to business and human rights disputes. It gathers, highlights and links to recent things that I think are interesting and worth a click.
- The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court published an important policy paper on case selection and prioritisation. It says that the OTP will give “particular consideration” to destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land. See Nadia Bernaz’s great post. The University of Lincoln has scheduled a conference for February 2017 to examine this development.
- The University of Cambridge held its 34th Symposium on Economic Crime from 4-11 September 2016. There were renewed suggestions that the UK government will introduce a Finance Bill to extend the Bribery Act’s “failure to prevent” model to a broad range of corporate crimes.
- “The Sentry” published a 60-page report titled “War Crimes Shouldn’t Pay: Stopping the Looting and Destruction in South Sudan”. The Sentry’s avowed purpose is to“dismantle the war economies and kleptocracies” and the report is the product of a two-year investigation which sought to “follow the money.”
- Following the Panama Papers leak earlier this year, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published a Bahamian Breach. This latest leak suggests that, among other things, General Pinochet owned a Bahamian company and that Bahamian companies and bank accounts facilitated a system of illegal kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s government under the UN-Iraq “oil for food” programme.
- An EU-funded project “Human Rights in Business: Removal of Barriers to Access to Justice in the European Union” published a summary of its findings – the culmination of two years of work looking at jurisdiction, applicable law and non-judicial remedies among other issues. It is expected that the full report will be released in the coming months, together with additional videos of the project’s final session in Brussels.
- In a strange turn of events, the UK Parliament issued conflicting reports on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. One report recommended that sales should stop. Another said it should be for the court to decide in an upcoming (January 2017) judicial review hearing.
- The ICRC published a “comprehensive introduction” handbook on international humanitarian law which you can download for free. It has a useful index. The handbook reminds us that IHL prohibits the use of weapons that are intended to, or may be expected to cause, widespread, long-term and severe damage to the environment.
- You might remember that in June 2016, the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service announced that there would be no prosecution in connection with allegations of British officials’ alleged involvement in renditions and ill-treatment from South East Asia to Libya in 2004. The announcement justified the decision not to prosecute aiding and abetting torture, kidnap, false imprisonment, assault or misconduct in public office. (The Law Commission subsequently announced that it will conduct a review of the common law offence of misconduct in public office.) Anyway, the CPS’s decision not to prosecute is now being challenged as judicial review proceedings have been launched. The jurisdictional issues could be significant.
- From 14-16 October 2016, a civil society initiative calling itself the “Monsanto Tribunal” will gather in The Hague to assess allegations against Monsanto. Among the matters to be considered are alleged complicity in war crimes by providing materials to the United States during its operations in Vietnam, and whether the crime of “ecocide” can be established. The website states that the “court” expects to issue a judgment in December 2016. This is more an exercise in advocacy than judicial assessment, but it will be interesting to see the result.
More in a couple of weeks!