Nationwide Law School Partnership Project
ICAR and EarthRights International have launched a nationwide project partnering with law schools to research state law and propose recommendations for legal reform around corporate accountability in their state.
This project is in part a response to the recent Supreme Court decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. The Court held that human rights cases can only be brought in U.S. federal court under the Alien Tort Statute if the actions “touch and concern” the United States “with sufficient force.” While the decision left the door open to some cases going forward in federal court, the Court did not give much explanation of what this test means or how other courts should apply it.
The practical effect of the decision has been that many cases that have an international element, including cases against U.S. corporations, have been dismissed.
Now, many human rights cases against corporations will proceed in state court. Victims can bring claims for assault and battery or wrongful death (as opposed to torture, genocide, or war crimes, which they could bring in federal court). Still, litigating in state courts presents many unique obstacles for victims of international human rights abuses. Targeted legislative amendments can make it easier for victims to sue in state courts.
ICAR is partnering with law schools to provide research support for human rights cases at the state level. Students will also examine their state law and propose recommendations of how the law could be improved to better protect human rights victims.
Research state law litigation issues and draft research memos.
Research state law legislative issues and draft legislation.
Research state legislators and approach allies to introduce and support bills.
Build a movement around the legislation; work with other organizations to help garner support.
Schools currently involved in the project include:
More Analysis and Updates From This Initiative
17 April 2013
On April 17th, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell) that Esther Kiobel may not proceed in her case against Shell for aiding and abetting in the torture and murder of her husband. TheRead More…
26 March 2013
The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, European Coalition for Corporate Justice, and the Corporate Responsibility Coalition are proud to announce the launch of the Access to Judicial Remedy Project. As corporations have gained increasing power and rights in the global marketplace, they haveRead More…
15 October 2012
On October 4th, 2012, ICAR submitted the following statement to the US Government in response to a notice and comment period for the “Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma”. For further information, please contact Amol Mehra at firstname.lastname@example.org. ICARRead More…
07 August 2012
ICAR released the following statement to the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, and Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, commending these agencies for reaching out to a broad stakeholder group to discuss the implementationRead More…
23 July 2012
On July 23, 2012, ICAR released the following statement, generally supporting the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC) but specifically stating our concerns on key matters relevant to the Temporary Steering Committee (TSC). See the statementRead More…
09 March 2012
In November of 2010, the Canadian Association Against Impunity (CAAI) filed a class action against Anvil Mining for its alleged involvement in a 2004 massacre near its mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Anvil Mining is incorporated in Canada’s Northwest Territories, listedRead More…