From our friends at Global Witness comes news of a significant victory in the human rights case against Anvil Mining, which Global Witness and several other groups filed last fall in Quebec. The judge ruled that the case, which arises out of the Kilwa massacre in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, should proceed in Canada–rather than in the DRC or in Australia, where Anvil has offices. The judge stated:
It is apparent … that it is impossible to determine that the authorities of the Congo or of Australia would clearly be more appropriate for hearing the case. In fact, at this stage in the proceedings, everything indicates that if the court were to refuse to accept the application … there would be no other possibility for the victims’ civil claim to be heard.
Although ERI’s cases have been litigated in the US, we’ve long been interested in seeing similar litigation proceed in other forums–and Canada is at the top of the list. (In fact, in law school I wrote a paper on “Canada as a forum for transnational human rights litigation,” so I’ve been especially focused on developments there.) We’re thrilled that this case is moving forward–it’s one more step toward expanding accountability mechanisms worldwide.