After HudBay ruling, Canadian firms on notice over human rights - The Globe and Mail
On Monday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Carole Brown ruled that claims for rapes and murder in Guatemala against Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals can proceed to trial in Canada. This precedent-setting decision puts Canadian companies on notice that they will have to be much more vigilant about their actions overseas.
Hudbay, like other corporations before, had argued in court that court that corporate head offices could not be held responsible for harms at their subsidiaries but the judge disagreed, saying that the claims could not be dismissed.
Murray Klippenstein, the Toronto lawyer for the 13 plaintiffs who accuse HudBay of murder and gang-rape stated “There will now be a trial regarding the abuses committed in Guatemala, and this trial will be in a courtroom in Canada a few blocks from HudBay’s headquarters…we would never tolerate these abuses in Canada, and Canadian companies should not be able to take advantage of broken-down or extremely weak legal systems in other countries to get away with them there.”
Judicial decisions often act as markers, sometimes nudging society along to change systems and values in order to ideally reflect a search for justice. Sadly, our global world today still denies justice to many of the most vulnerable, making a mockery of our global system of corporate law.
Humanists for Social Justice and Environmental Action supports Human Rights, Social and Economic Justice, Environmental Activism and Planetary Ethics in North America & Globally, with particular reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other Human Rights UN treaties and conventions listed above.