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In Shell Case, Will Supreme Court’s View of Corporate Personhood Mean Liability for Crimes Abroad?

Democracy Now


The Supreme Court opens its 2012-2013 term today with a landmark case to decide whether survivors of human rights violations in foreign countries can bring lawsuits against corporations in U.S. courts. The case centers on a lawsuit that accuses the oil giant Shell’s parent company, Royal Dutch Petroleum, of complicity in the murder and torture of Nigerian activists. Some legal analysts are comparing this case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, to the landmark campaign finance ruling in Citizens United. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled corporations have broad rights under the First Amendment and can directly fund political campaigns. The court is now being asked to decide if corporations have the same responsibilities as individuals for violations of international law. The court’s ruling will also impact numerous other human rights cases being heard by lower courts. We’re joined in New York by Baher Azmy, the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. [includes rush transcript]

Posted Date: 
4 October 2012

Mary Robinson: ‘Everybody matters’ ...but the people of Erris

Mary - RSC - Indymedia

 - Campaigners highlight Robinson's silence on human rights in County Mayo -

Last night Enda Kenny met with Mary Robinson for an evening soiree in Ballina Arts Centre to launch her new book. The title of her memoir, ‘Everybody Matters’ was a ironic reminder of the silence maintained by Robinson on the human rights abuses associated with Shell’s Corrib Gas project. Since 2002 Shell have been operating less than 35 miles away from her home in Ballina and over that time human rights concerns have been documented by international human rights organisations including Frontline Defenders (“Breakdown of Trust: a Report on the Corrib Gas Dispute


Campaigners from Shell to Sea and Rossport Solidarity Camp travelled to the launch to highlight Robinson’s continuing silence on human rights issues in her home county, but were refused entry to the Arts centre for the event by Gardaí. Ten campaigners held a picket outside the event holding placards which read, ‘What about human rights on your doorstep?’, ‘Mary Robinson – human rights N.I.M.B.Y’, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’, ‘Mary – what about human rights in Mayo?’, and ‘And you used to be so good!!’

Posted Date: 
18 September 2012

Our oil and gas might as well be off the coast of Brazil for all the good it will do us

William Hederman - Irish Daily Mail

 Comment piece by William Hederman published in today’s Irish Daily Mail (10 September 2012)

The dogs in the street now understand that Ireland’s share of revenue from our oil and gas fields is set to be pitifully small, thanks to terms handed down by Ray Burke. It’s no longer just campaigners who want change. In May an Oireachtas committee with a majority of Government TDs issued a report calling for the terms to be radically overhauled.

The oil companies are desperate to maintain the status quo. They defend their corner mainly by portraying our offshore as a lonely wasteland, where exploration is almost non-existent and where finding oil or gas is but a remote possibility. Our “attractive” terms (the world’s most generous to the oil companies) must be maintained until Ireland is a “proven territory”, they insist.

Posted Date: 
14 September 2012

This is our oil, so let's demand a fair share

Irish Daily Mail Editorial - 10th September 2012

It has long been acknowleged that the exploration deal former minister Ray Burke struck with the oil companies in 1992 was exraordinarily - even obscenely - generous.

There was always, however, what appeared to be a fairly compelling argumentin favour of such generosity: the slim chance of anyone ever making a commercial discovery off the Irish coast. Only by offering such generous terms, we have repeatedly been told by every energy minister since Mr Burke, including most recently Pat Rabbitte, could we ever intice the roustabouts into Irish waters.

Posted Date: 
13 September 2012

Irish Supplier Accuses Shell of Bribery, Cover-up and Sinister Threats

John Donovan -

Printed below is a leaked email to a Shell EP Ireland manager, Mr Brian Foley, sent by a thoroughly disenchanted local supplier to the Corrib Gas Project in Ireland, an enterprise dogged by controversy.

This includes several months imprisonment of local landowners, the Rossport Five and a hunger-strike by another jailed campaigner, the retired school principal, Maura Harrington, the current spokesperson for the Shell to Sea campaign.

Two sources have confirmed the authenticity of the email, which makes serious allegations that seem to have drawn several Shell officials, mangers and executives into the story, including the Chief Executive Officer of Shell EP Ireland, Mr Michael Crothers.

Posted Date: 
10 September 2012
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