DLH lawsuit (re Liberian civil war)

Hardwood timberOn 11 November 2009, Global Witness and Sherpa together with Greenpeace France, Amis de la Terre and Alfred Brownell, a Liberian activist, lodged a legal complaint before the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Nantes, France, against Dalhoff, Larsen and Horneman (DLH).

The complaint alleges that during the Liberian civil war, from 2002-2003, DLH bought timber from Liberian companies that provided support to Charles Taylor’s government.  The group claims that revenues from the timber industry were used to fuel the civil war by being a major source of funding for the Liberian Government’s extra-budgetary (un-official) activities such as procurement of arms and ammunition in breach of UN sanctions.  DLH allegedly continued to buy timber from Liberian suppliers despite strong evidence (including UN reports) of their involvement in corruption, tax evasion, environmental degradation, UN arms sanctions violations and human rights abuses.  The complainants further charge that DLH’s suppliers were not legally entitled to fell the timber sold to the company, and that DLH France and DLH Nordisk A/S (both part of DLH) are therefore guilty of “recel” – the handling of and profiting from goods obtained illegally, which is a crime under French law.

In response to the complaint, DLH stated that it is a “pioneer” in timber certification. A spokesman for DLH France stated that all of company’s imports are legal.

On 15 February 2013, the prosecutor dismissed the case and required "no further action".

- French Logging Company Sued for Role in Liberian Civil War, Daily Observer [Liberia], 14 Dec 2009
- [FR] DLH accusé d'avoir financé la guerre au Liberia, Béatrice Héraud, Novethic, 19 Nov 2009

- DLH: [PDF] DLH Social and Human Rights Policy
- Global Witness: [PDF] Bankrolling Brutality: Why European timber company DLH should be held to account for profiting from Liberian conflict timber, Feb 2010
- Global Witness: International timber company DLH accused of funding Liberian war, 18 Nov 2009
- Sherpa, Global Witness, Greenpeace, Amis de la Terre: [FR] [PDF] Document d’information sur l’entreprise forestière internationale DLH accusée de financer la guerre au Libéria

Get RSS feed of these results

All components of this story

Article
+ 繁體中文 - Hide

Author: Gwynne Skinner, Robert McCorquodale, Olivier De Schutter & Andie Lambe

"第三大支柱: 讓跨國公司侵犯人權行為的受害者獲得司法救濟", 2013年2月

“獲得司法救濟項目”(A2JR)設立的目的是確認並分析美國、加拿大和歐洲在該領域存在的阻礙…在開發該報告過程中我們進行了詳盡的現狀分析,結論顯示國家普遍沒有承擔為企業境外侵權行為的受害者提供有效司法救濟的義務。受害者在尋求救濟時仍然面臨著眾多的阻礙,有時還出現尋求救濟的途徑被完全堵死的情況。雖然相關國家在立法、法庭程序、人權保護和法律傳統方面存在著差異,但在所有司法制度下都存在著阻礙受害者尋求救助的情況。在一些案例中,這些阻礙被成功地克服,其原因往往是:律師採用了全新的訴訟方案;受害者有足夠的耐心;有著敏銳洞察力的法官願意受理此類維權訴訟。國家必須制定強硬、一致的政策,重申受害者的人權重於企業的經濟利益。企業侵權人權行為的受害者,無論侵權行為在何地發生,都有權獲得全面、有效的司法救濟。為實現上述目標,每一個國家都應該審視司法制度中的存在障礙,並考慮採取行動加以消除,特別是考慮本報告提出的相關建議...

Read the full post here

Report
+ 简体中文 - Hide

Author: Gwynne Skinner, Robert McCorquodale, Olivier De Schutter & Andie Lambe

"第三大支柱: 让跨国公司侵犯人权行为的受害者获得司法救济", 2013年2月

“获得司法救济项目”(A2JR)设立的目的是确认并分析美国、加拿大和欧洲在该领域存在的阻碍…在开发该报告过程中我们进行了详尽的现状分析,结论显示国家普遍没有承担为企业境外侵权行为的受害者提供有效司法救济的义务。受害者在寻求救济时仍然面临着众多的阻碍,有时还出现寻求救济的途径被完全堵死的情况。虽然相关国家在立法、法庭程序、人权保护和法律传统方面存在着差异,但在所有司法制度下都存在着阻碍受害者寻求救助的情况。在一些案例中,这些阻碍被成功地克服,其原因往往是:律师采用了全新的诉讼方案;受害者有足够的耐心;有着敏锐洞察力的法官愿意受理此类维权诉讼。国家必须制定强硬、一致的政策,重申受害者的人权重于企业的经济利益。企业侵权人权行为的受害者,无论侵权行为在何地发生,都有权获得全面、有效的司法救济。为实现上述目标,每一个国家都应该审视司法制度中的存在障碍,并考虑采取行动加以消除,特别是考虑本报告提出的相关建议...

Read the full post here

Download the full document here

Article
1 December 2013

[PDF] The Third Pillar: Access to Judicial Remedies for Human Rights Violations by Transnational Business

Author: Gwynne Skinner, Robert McCorquodale, Olivier De Schutter & Andie Lambe

The Access to Judicial Remedy (A2JR) Project set out to identify and analyze the barriers in the United States, Canada, and Europe…The detailed mapping exercise undertaken in the development of this Report shows that States are generally not fulfilling their obligation to ensure access to effective judicial remedies to victims of human rights violations by businesses operating outside their territory. Victims continue to face barriers that at times can completely block their access to an effective remedy…These barriers have been overcome in only some instances…Victims of human rights violations by business, wherever the violations occur, are entitled to full and effective access to judicial remedies. In order to provide this, each State should examine the barriers in their jurisdiction and consider the range of actions they can take to alleviate them, and in particular, the recommendations contained in this Report…[Refers to Alstom, Amesys (part of Bull), Anvil Mining (part of China Minmetals), Barrick Gold, Bull, Cambior, Cape PLC, Chevron, Chiquita, Daimler, DLH (Dalhoff Larsen & Horneman), Drummond, ExxonMobil, HudBay Minerals, Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin), Shell, Talisman, Texaco (part of Chevron), Thor Chemicals, Unocal (part of Chevron), Veolia Environnement (formerly Vivendi), Veolia Transport (part of Veolia Environnement), Walmart, Zijin]

Read the full post here

Article
1 January 2010

[PDF] Bankrolling Brutality: Why European timber company DLH should be held to account for profiting from Liberian conflict timber

Author: Global Witness

Global Witness and…[other NGO’s] lodged a legal complaint before the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Nantes (France) against…DLH France, part of the Dalhoff, Larsen and Horneman Group (DLH)...The complainants have evidence that from 2001-2003, DLH purchased…wood originating from Liberian timber companies that directly benefited Charles Taylor’s…regime…[T]he companies DLH purchased from were named in numerous UN reports as committing gross human rights violations, breaching UN arms sanctions, and engaging in environmental destruction and corruption...The parties to the complaint believe that DLH deliberately attempted to conceal the origin of the timber, mislead the public and divert public scrutiny of its Liberian purchasing and importation practices in order to make profits....The logging companies included: Oriental Timber Company (OTC), Natura, Maryland Wood Processing Industries (MWPI), Inland Logging Company (ILC), Royal Timber Company (RTC), and the Mohammed Group of Companies (MGC)…and the Liberian Forestry Development Company (LFDC)...

Read the full post here

Article
+ Français - Hide

Author: Béatrice Héraud, Novethic [France]

Global Witness et Sherpa, soutenus par Greenpeace France, les Amis de la Terre et l'activiste libérien Alfred Brownell, ont déposé une plainte contre l'importateur de bois international DLH devant le procureur de la République de Nantes, pour demander l'ouverture d'une enquête judiciaire concernant les activités de la branche française du groupe au Liberia, durant le début des années 2000... DLH, s’est déclaré « très surpris » et découvrir par notre appel le dépôt de la plainte. Tout « en prenant cela très au sérieux », l’entreprise met aujourd’hui en avant son rôle de « pionnier » dans la politique de certification du bois, notamment au Congo... Selon Sébastien Monvois, responsable du marketing et de la communication de la branche française, l’entreprise « importe aujourd’hui 100% de bois légaux ». [fait aussi référence à Oriental Timber Corporation, Association interafricaine des industries forestières (Inter-African Forest Industries Association - Ifia]

🚫Read the full post here

Article
18 November 2009

International timber company DLH accused of funding Liberian war [France]

Author: Global Witness

Global Witness and Sherpa, along with Greenpeace France, Amis de la Terre, and a prominent Liberian activist, have lodged a complaint before the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Nantes against Dalhoff, Larsen and Horneman (DLH)…alleg[ing] that during the civil war in Liberia…DLH brought timber from Liberian companies that provided support to Charles Taylor's brutal regime…According to the claimants, by importing timber from forest concessions operated by…corrupt Liberian companies, the French arm of DLH is guilty of ‘recel' - the handling of and profiting from goods obtained illegally, punishable under French criminal law…The complaint will rely on strong evidence of its suppliers' involvement in corruption, tax evasion, environmental degradation, UN arms sanctions violations and gross human rights abuses…Revenue from forestry was a major source of funding for President Charles Taylor's illicit off-budget activities during the conflict.

Read the full post here

Lawsuit
20 April 2001

DLH lawsuit (re Liberian civil war)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

On 11 November 2009, Global Witness and Sherpa together with Greenpeace France, Amis de la Terre and Alfred Brownell, a Liberian activist, lodged a legal complaint before the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Nantes, France, against Dalhoff, Larsen and Horneman (DLH).

The complaint alleges that during the Liberian civil war, from 2002-2003, DLH bought timber from Liberian companies that provided support to Charles Taylor’s government.  The group claims that revenues from the timber industry were used to fuel the civil war by being a major source of funding for the Liberian Government’s extra-budgetary (un-official) activities such as procurement of arms and ammunition in breach of UN sanctions.  DLH allegedly continued to buy timber from Liberian suppliers despite strong evidence (including UN reports) of their involvement in corruption, tax evasion, environmental degradation, UN arms sanctions violations and human rights abuses.  The complainants further charge that DLH’s suppliers were not legally entitled to fell the timber sold to the company, and that DLH France and DLH Nordisk A/S (both part of DLH) are therefore guilty of “recel” – the handling of and profiting from goods obtained illegally, which is a crime under French law.

In response to the complaint, DLH stated that it is a “pioneer” in timber certification. A spokesman for DLH France stated that all of company’s imports are legal.

- French Logging Company Sued for Role in Liberian Civil War, Daily Observer [Liberia], 14 Dec 2009
- [FR] DLH accusé d'avoir financé la guerre au Liberia, Béatrice Héraud, Novethic, 19 Nov 2009

- DLH: [PDF] DLH Social and Human Rights Policy
- Global Witness: [PDF] Bankrolling Brutality: Why European timber company DLH should be held to account for profiting from Liberian conflict timber, Feb 2010
- Global Witness: International timber company DLH accused of funding Liberian war, 18 Nov 2009
- Sherpa, Global Witness, Greenpeace, Amis de la Terre: [FR] [PDF] Document d’information sur l’entreprise forestière internationale DLH accusée de financer la guerre au Libéria