Kiobel v Shell: US Supreme Court on corporate accountability for foreign human rights abuses

shell460US Supreme Court : Kiobel et al v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co et al - Read Judgment 

In a long-awaited judgment, the United States Supreme Court has decided unanimously that there was no jurisdiction for a US federal court to hear a claim by a group of Nigerians alleging that the respondents assisted the Nigerian government to kill, rape, beat and arrest individuals who protested against Shell’s environmental practices. 

The judgment has already attracted a lot of commentary, from those claiming it is undermines US leadership on human rights to those who argue it is sensible or a mixed bag.  The claimants, who resided in the United States, filed suit against the respondents (Dutch, British and Nigerian corporations) in federal court under the Alien Tort Statute (the “ATS”).

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Habeas corpus, trolling and secret court conspiracy theories – The Human Rights Roundup

A troll

This is Wessen Jazrawi’s final roundup on the UK Human Rights Blog as she is moving onto pastures new. Thanks to Wessen for her fantastic series of fortnightly roundups – Adam and the UKHRB team.

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly smörgåsbord of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

The most significant news of the week has been the decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Yunus Rahmatullah which we consider below. In other news, time is fast running out for the UK government to act on prisoner voting and the European Court displayed the limits of its intervention on domestic violence. Also in today’s roundup is the inaugural list of upcoming UK human rights events – if you would like to add an event to the next roundup, please email.

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Jailing jokers, killing burglars and homophobic prisons – the Human Rights Roundup

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Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly buffet of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

Many of the articles in the blogosphere this week have concerned the conviction and jailing of Matthew Woods for offensive jokes made about the abducted five year old April Jones which came in the same week as a man was jailed for wearing an offensive t-shirt about police deaths. Lawyers, comedians and others have expressed their concern about the sentence and its implications for freedom of expression in this country. The other key news of the week is the statement by our new Minister for Justice, Chris Grayling, that householders will be allowed more leeway in the force used against burglars in their home. Meanwhile, the Attorney-General has come out in support of the European Convention of Human Rights.

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Abu Hamza, teachers’ anonymity and Chagos refugees – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

In the news

The European Court of Human Rights has refused the request of Abu Hamza and four others to refer their extradition appeal to its Grand Chamber for another hearing, meaning that their routes of appeal have finally (probably) come to an end. In other news, the Chagos refugees have gone to court over a note to Baroness Amos concerning their resettlement and teachers have been granted anonymity when facing criminal charges.

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Hillsborough, a new president and mental health discrimination – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

In the news
A bumper edition this week. The European Court of Human Rights elected a new president and the Government finally apologised for the Hillsborough disaster. Its report on Hillsborough was published this week and provides illuminating reading. In other news, the DPP has published guidelines on the approach prosecutors should take when assessing the public interest in cases affecting the media and the UKBA has published guidance for caseworkers following the Alvi judgment. Finally, questions are asked about Chris Grayling’s qualifications for his new role of Lord Chancellor.

Human Rights Tour

First, the British Institute of Human Rights is bringing the 2012 Human Rights Tour to a city near you soon: see here for further detail on the programme, dates and venues.

Prince Harry’s photos, squatting and defining rape – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly dose of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

This week the Sun published naked photos of Prince Harry, squatting was criminalised, and commentators continued to discuss the question of rape in the context of Julian Assange and the various sexual crimes he has been accused of. In so publishing the photos, the Sun claimed a public interest defence, something which the legal bloggers have been examining. In news from South Africa, a group of 259 miners has been charged with the murder of their 34 colleagues who were shot dead by the police.

More on Assange, rape and the right to die – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly smörgåsbord of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

The news
This week has been dominated by the figure of Julian Assange, with many UK-based legal bloggers commenting on the many aspects of his case, not least in relation to the question of extradition to the US and diplomatic protection by Ecuador. There has also been a very sad conclusion to the right-to-die campaign by Tony Nicklinson, which is that he refused food and passed away on Thursday.

Twitter arrests, religion and the law, and Article 8 applications

Another gratuitous Olympics pic

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

In the news

It has been a quiet week in the blogosphere which suggests that everyone else has been as glued to the Olympics as I have. This week has seen the arrest of a 17 year old following abusive tweets to Tom Daley and a case looking at the interesting question of whether a Jewish girl could be allowed to have herself baptised, as well as cases concerning Article 8 applications. This week also marks the start of Parliamentary recess and the end of the Trinity legal term. The next couple of months will be quiet as the courts and parliament take their summer breaks.

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Immigration rules, prisoner voting and corporate accountability – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly summary of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

It has been an interesting week for immigration law, with so-called ‘back door’ immigration rule changes struck down by the Supreme Court. The UK has been hauled over the coals yet again about prisoner voting, and those of us interested in corporate accountability saw the High Court rule that it was arguable that the London parent company headquarters of a South African company was its place of central administration for domicile purposes.

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Phone-hacking, squatters’ roadmap and the five million hit blog – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

In the news

Glenn Mulcaire lost his appeal before the Supreme Court in the phone-hacking scandal this week. He was appealing orders that he answer questions relating to his activities, including questions concerning the identity of the person instructing him to intercept the messages, on the basis of privilege against self-incrimination. In other news, the CPS has issued new guidance in rape and murder cases, and 1 Crown Office Row is recruiting to fill one third-six pupillage vacancy.

1 Crown Office Row recruiting

1 Crown Office Row is recruiting to fill one third-six pupillage vacancy – the deadline is Wednesday 11 July at 4 pm. See here for further details, including how to apply.

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Right to die, asylum and extradition – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly buffet of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

The news this week has been dominated by issues relating to Article 8 and the right to die. First, we had Tony Nicklinson, a man suffering from locked-in syndrome, and then there was the case of E, a woman suffering from anorexia who was being looked after in a community hospital under a palliative care regime whose purpose was to allow her to die. In other news, just when you (or rather, I) thought the fat lady had sung for Julian Assange, there was another twist in the tale as he requested asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy.

Force-feeding, gay marriage and Article 8 (and a half) – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly smörgåsbord of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

The news

This week has seen the Home Secretary Theresa May take on Article 8 – and the courts – with the announcement that she was seeking the backing of Parliament on the limits of Article 8, the right to private and family life, and that she would expect judges to “follow and take into account” the views of Parliament. In other news, the Church of England submitted its opposition to gay marriage in response to the Government consultation, which has now ended, a judge in the Court of Protection ordered that an anorexic woman should be force-fed, and the Supreme Court dismissed an application by Julian Assange to reopen his appeal against extradition.

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Article 8 tweaked, human rights exam passed – the Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly dose of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

Thanks to the Jubilee, it was a short week for most of us but there was still plenty happening in the world of human rights. Hot topics included the criminalisation of forced marriage and the UK’s second UPR, and as usual the debate surrounding the Justice and Security Bill rages on. And, today the Home Secretary will unveil her plans to persuade judges to alter how they interpret Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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Assange, secret trials and data retention – The Human Rights Roundup

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly buffet of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

The big news this week has been the unexpected turn of events in the Assange extradition case. Almost immediately after the Supreme Court handed down its judgment that he could be extradited, his counsel Dinah Rose QC threw a spanner in the works… The upshot is that it looks like Assange shall be sticking around for at least another couple of weeks. The other significant news of the week is that the Government has published the Justice and Security Bill.

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Prisoner voting, Bratza’s replacement and peaceful protest – The Human Rights Roundup

“I believe that it should be a matter for parliament to decide, not a foreign court.”

Welcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your weekly bulletin of human rights news. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here.

The biggest news of the week this week was the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the Scoppola v Italy case; the latest in the long-running prisoner voting saga. The Court refused to overrule its 2005 decision in Hirst No. 2 but also found that proportionality does not require individual determination by a judge on a case by case basis. There was predictable anger from the tabloid press plus some more cogent articles, some of which have been set out below.

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