The courtroom is one of the few places where communities can face off against multinational corporations with equal power and authority. Learn more about some of the innovative strategies we use to secure justice for our clients and put power back in the hands of those who need it most–the people.

In cases where we are not counsel, EarthRights often submits amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs on important issues. These amicus briefs are often submitted in cases brought under the Alien Tort Statute, where a decision could have a wide-ranging impact on other cases. Typically, EarthRights submits such briefs to elaborate on a particular legal issue on which we have expertise; in other cases, we might submit a brief if the facts of the case are especially relevant to our work. These briefs form an important part of international human rights and environmental litigation, and other organizations have also submitted amicus briefs in our cases where appropriate. LEARN MORE.
Victims of human rights abuses committed by U.S. corporations abroad can sue those responsible in U.S. courts. The Alien Tort Statute is one provision that allows such suits for violations of international law, including human rights law. We have used it in many of our major transnational litigation cases against some of the world’s biggest corporations.
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One of our most promising new strategies 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. LEARN MORE.
Through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), other public information requests, and through our litigation, EarthRights has collected documents that shed light on human and environmental abuses committed by corporate actors worldwide. Except where restricted by court order, we aim to make those documents available to the public.
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Section 1504 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue rules that would require extractive companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to publicly report the payments they make to governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. The regulations are intended to shine a light on an industry that is notoriously opaque and vulnerable to corruption, expose and deter corrupt deals, give investors better information to assess risk, and provide much-needed transparency for citizens of resource-rich countries to monitor revenue flows from projects in their backyards and demand accountable management of natural resource wealth. LEARN MORE.
EarthRights works with communities, campaigners, and legal experts in the Mekong region to help them understand and design their own campaigns around Environmental Impact Assessment processes. LEARN MORE.

DATABASE

EarthRights collects documents and resources that shed light on human and environmental abuses committed by corporate actors worldwide, acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. SEE THE DATABASE.