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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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...

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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...

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Article
30 May 2014

[PDF] The Governance Gap - Extractive Industries, Human Rights, and the Home State Advantage

Author: Penelope Simons (Univ. of Ottawa, Canada) & Audrey Macklin (Univ. of Toronto, Canada)

This book explores the persistence of the governance gap with respect to the human rights-impacting conduct of transnational extractive corporations operating in zones of weak governance…The authors launch their account with a fascinating case study of Talisman Energy’s experience in Sudan, informed by their own experience as members of the 1999 Canadian Assessment Mission to Sudan…Drawing on new governance, reflexive law and responsive law theories, the authors assess legal and other non-binding governance mechanisms that have emerged since that time, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. They conclude that such mechanisms are incapable of systematically preventing human rights violating behaviour by transnational corporations, or of assuring accountability of these actors or recompense for victims of such violations. The authors contend that home state regulation, while not a silver bullet, has a crucial role to play in regulating such conduct…

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Article
19 February 2014

The Turn to Corporate Criminal Liability for International Crimes: Transcending the Alien Tort Statute

Author: James Stewart, University of British Columbia in New York University Journal of Intl. Law & Politics (USA)

In November 2013, Swiss authorities announced a criminal investigation into one of the world's largest gold refineries on the basis that the company committed a war crime. The Swiss investigation comes a matter of months after the US Supreme Court decided in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. that allegations like these could not give rise to civil liability under the aegis of the Alien Tort Statute ("ATS")...In this paper, I argue that coupling corporate criminal liability with international crimes in national systems, as in this new Swiss case, is the next obvious “discovery” in corporate responsibility. In addition, at least one international court has now adopted corporate criminal liability for international crimes. These moves promise to transcend several of the doctrinal and conceptual problems that plagued the ATS...

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Lawsuit
18 February 2014

Talisman lawsuit (re Sudan)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In 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]

Article
20 December 2013

[PDF] Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin – Issue 11, December 2013

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Welcome to the 11th issue of the Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin. To assist all those following corporate legal accountability issues, we send this bulletin to highlight key developments, new cases profiled on our site, updates to existing profiles, and other news. Our Corporate Legal Accountability Portal is an online information hub providing resources for non- lawyers as well as lawyers – including victims, advocates, NGOs, businesspeople, lawyers bringing lawsuits against companies and lawyers defending companies. The portal provides impartial, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged – its aim is to demystify these lawsuits. Each case profile includes materials from both the plaintiffs and defendants, to the extent they are available...[Refers to African Rainbow Minerals, Alstom, Amesys (part of Bull), AngloGold Ashanti, Argor-Heraeus, BP, Bull, CACI, Chevron, Davao Fruits, Ford, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold, HudBay Minerals, IBM, Kaweri (part of Neumann Gruppe), Koh Kong Sugar, Lapanday Agricultural Development, Nestlé, Neumann Gruppe, Texaco (part of Chevron), Titan Corporation (now L-3 Services, part of L-3 Communications), Veolia Environnement, Veolia Transport (part of Veolia Environnement)]

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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]

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Article
1 November 2013

[PDF] Briefing note - Africa Oil Week 2013: Oil & gas industry must improve its respect for human rights

Author: Aliou Diouf, Joseph Kibugu, Nokukhanya Mncwabe, Julia Mello Neiva, Gregory Regaignon - Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

The oil & gas industry has a vital role to play in Africa’s development. But too often exploration and extraction are linked to human rights abuses against local residents, oil & gas revenues prop up repressive governments, and the promise of poverty alleviation is squandered...This briefing, on the occasion of Africa Oil Week, focuses on three key areas identified by African civil society as needing urgent and transformative action to ensure the oil industry serves the common good and inclusive development, rather than causing enrichment of a few and abuses of the rights of many: 1. Community impacts: rights to water, food, health & land. 2. Violence linked to the oil industry. 3. Transparency of revenues and contracts & contribution of revenues to the fulfilment of social & economic rights. [refers to Addax Petroleum (part of Sinopec), Agip (part of Eni), Chevron, CNPC, ExxonMobil, Marathon, Shell, Swala Oil & Gas, Talisman Energy, Tullow Oil]

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Article
2 October 2012

[PDF] Investor Statement for Human Rights and in Support of the U.S. Alien Tort Statute

Author: Boston Common Asset Management & 30 other socially responsible investors & investment managers

The U.S. Alien Tort Statute (ATS)…has become an essential statute in protecting human rights against abuses, committed both by individuals and corporations…This law is currently being contested in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell)…The U.S. Supreme Court will be considering the ramifications of allowing foreign incidents to be brought to trial in the U.S. courts. Shell and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce…have returned to a long discredited argument: requiring corporate accountability decreases investment. There is no empirical evidence that in the years since the ATS was first used to address corporations, it has decreased investments in the U.S. or abroad…We are investors and investment managers representing $548 billion in assets under management and we support international legal frameworks, including the U.S. Alien Tort Statute (ATS), to protect human rights.

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Article
4 September 2012

[PDF] Kiobel and Corporate Social Responsibility: An Issues Brief

Author: Professor John Ruggie, Harvard Univ., former UN Special Representative on business & human rights

On October 1, 2012, the United States Supreme Court will rehear arguments in a landmark case...Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum...brought by Nigerian plaintiffs against Shell...alleging that the company aided and abetted the Nigerian military dictatorship in the 1990s in the commission of gross human rights violations, including torture, extra-judicial execution, and crimes against humanity... Should the corporate responsibility to respect human rights remain entirely divorced from litigation strategy and tactics, particularly where the company has choices about the grounds on which to defend itself? Should the litigation strategy aim to destroy an entire juridical edifice for redressing gross violations of human rights, particularly where other legal grounds exist to protect the company’s interests? ... I don’t know what the correct answers to these questions are… What I do know is that if, on top of the many other reputational and legal challenges it has faced over the years, Shell also ends up being held responsible for so radically constricting the ATS, its road back to the corporate social responsibility fold will be long and hard. [also refers to lawsuits against Unocal (now part of Chevron), Total, ExxonMobil, Talisman]

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