Corporate Accountability in Transitional Justice Settings. Some initial problems when reflecting on corporate accountability in the context of TJ.
PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Corporate Accountability in Transitional Justice Settings' - meadow
An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
without determining the responsibility of all important actors, the account of the truth will inevitably remain partial and the roots and causes of the oppression or conflict will not be understood
an inclusion of the role of corporations in truthfinding might thus be necessary in order to paint the full truth with regard to the abuses that occurred, the reasons for which they occurred, and their consequences
TRCs can carry out investigations into the role of businesses, eg establish to what extent, if any, businesses were involved in the violations that occurred, either regarding individual businesses or certain business sectors, like the mining industry, agricultural businesses etc.
TRCs can make recommendations regarding corporate accountability (eg corporate reparations, one-off taxation, exclusion from future public contracts; asset freezing and recovery etc.)
Can take place in the transitional country itself or abroad, usually under tort law principles
Litigation abroad has primarily taken place under the US Alien Tort Claims Act for aiding and abetting violations of the law of nations, but also in other jurisdictions like the UK or Canada; such litigation often ends in settlements
The UNBasic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparations for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Lawsuggest that legal persons and entities can be liable to provide reparation to victims
They also call on states to provide guarantees of non-repetition, such as by “[p]romoting the observance of codes of conduct and ethical norms, in particular international standards . . . by economic enterprises.”
Reparations can take many different forms, from financial compensation to apologies, restitution (eg of land), termination or renegotiation of contracts, excluding companies from future public procurements
Even where clear legal responsibility cannot be established, based on principles of reconciliation, solidarity and justice, there might be a case for corporations that benefited from dealing with the past regime to assist in the country’s reconstruction by helping finance reparations—for example, by contributing to a special fund for reparations or paying an annual tax to the authorities
where a corporation is to continue working in the same area after conflict or repression, the company could help provide infrastructure for the community by constructing roads, clean water pipelines, provide employment to surviving victims etc.
Where corporations have caused or benefited from land displacement it might be feasible to consider engaging them in a land restitution process
states have a duty to regulate corporate activity to make sure that no human rights violations occur, and to help companies with avoiding their occurrence - requires taking appropriate steps to prevent, investigate, punish and redress such abuse through effective policies, legislation, regulations and adjudication)
Companies have a responsibility to respect all internationally recognized human rights – includes avoiding complicity in human rights violations and due diligence responsibilities of identifying and addressing human rights impact of their activities
Remediation, including where company could not foresee or prevent human rights violations or where abuses were not committed by the companies but are directly linked to their operations, products, or services
the TRC investigated the role of international corporations in apartheid South Africa and held a special hearing on businesses
It distinguished between different levels of involvement:
first order involvement meant that businesses played a central role in helping to design and implement apartheid policies
second-order involvement referred to supplying products or services knowing that they would be used for morally unacceptable purposes (eg providing arms and ammunition used for repression)
third order involvement were ordinary business activities that benefited indirectly by virtue of operating within the structures of apartheid; (eg the white agricultural industry benefited from its privileged access to land
It is doubtful that the recurrence of violence can be prevented effectively without addressing its main causes and without identifying and holding accountable the main perpetrators, including corporations for being complicit in the violations if their complicity was of sufficient severity.
to leave the role of corporations outside of TJ processes would be problematic because it would stand in the way of
a full account of the truth of what happened,
achieving reconciliation in society and
preventing a repetition of conflict or dictatorships