When a justice system works properly, the courtroom is one of the few places where vulnerable communities can face off against multinational corporations with equal power and authority. Too often the law has been used to mistreat communities, but our work is putting legal power back in the hands of the people who need it most. We use innovative strategies to find justice. Some of our most innovative strategies.
Alien Tort Statute
The Alien Tort Statute allows victims of egregious human rights abuses committed abroad to sue those responsible in U.S. federal courts. We have used it in many of our major transnational litigation cases against some of the biggest corporations.
Foreign Legal Assistance
One of our most promising new strategy uses the Foreign Legal Assistance (FLA) statute to assist public interest lawyers in other countries with their cases. Under this statute (28 U.S.C. § 1782), “interested parties” may ask a U.S. federal court to obtain documents and testimony from people or companies located in the U.S., when that information is relevant to a foreign legal proceeding. We’ve brought FLA actions against several U.S. corporations to seek and acquire evidence for use in human rights cases abroad.
Environmental Impact Assessment
We are working directly to help strengthen communities, campaigners and lawyers to understand and design their own campaigns around Environmental Impact Assessment processes in the Mekong region.