On 10 December 2015, Above Ground met in Toronto with Canadian and international litigators. The meeting sought to advance collective analysis on transnational civil litigation involving corporate defendants. Participants discussed recent legal developments in Canada and other jurisdictions. The outcomes of the meeting will inform Above Ground’s ongoing Access to Justice work.
Several corporations financed by Export Development Canada are currently being investigated for corruption by U.S. government authorities. In correspondence with EDC, we seek clarity on how this public agency prevents corrupt practices and what steps it takes when clients are investigated for corruption. This letter responds to correspondence received from EDC.
Bill 52, the Protection of Public Participation Act, seeks to protect public interest organizations from SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) suits. Karen Hamilton testified before the Standing Committee on Justice Policy where she shared Above Ground's experience being threatened with such a suit and encouraged Ontario legislators to adopt the measure.
Canadian company Pacific Exploration & Production was recently granted a concession to oil block 192 in the Peruvian Amazon. Residents in the region of Loreto have since staged a series of protests including a two-day regional strike. While many in Loreto, including the regional government, are angry that the state oil company was excluded from the concession, indigenous people affected by the oil block raise other concerns.
Canadian company Belo Sun wants to mine for gold in the Brazilian Amazon, next to the massive Belo Monte dam, which is currently under construction. The mine would affect several indigenous nations, including those who live in voluntary isolation. While the Brazilian Public Prosecutor challenges the mine licensing process in court, affected indigenous people demand that they be consulted by the company.
“Victims face an uphill battle when they seek justice in Canadian courts,” says Karyn Keenan, Director of Above Ground. “The current policy framework in Canada must change to prevent human rights abuse and provide remedy to those who suffer harm."