Controlling Corporate Cowboys: Extraterritorial Application of Home Countries' Jurisdiction to EU Corporations Abroad: A Window of Opportunity?
University College Dublin Law Review, pp. 67-79, 2007
Posted: 6 May 2008
The European Community and the European Union have shown considerable interest in bringing perpetrators of human rights and humanitarian law violations to account. This is demonstrated by the fact that all EU member states have ratified the Geneva Convention and its first protocol, the UN Convention against Torture, the Genocide Convention and the Rome Statute of the International Court. As it relates to multinational corporations (MNCs), the EU has also been at the forefront of the search for means of controlling the activities of MNCs, which culminated in the publication of the European Union Green Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). However, to date the situation has not improved significantly as many EU corporations are still being accused of involvement in violation of human rights in the countries of the South. A recent example is the case of a ship chattered by a Dutch Company to export hazardous waste materials to West Africa which resulted in the death of ten people with thousands others made ill. The situation is potentially more complex because of the exposure of EU companies to lawsuits in the US for egregious violation of human rights and international law under the Alien Torts Claim Act, 1789 (ATCA). While this paper recognizes and underscores the limits of the ATCA, it posits that it would be advantageous to the EU and its corporations and the furtherance of the goals of human rights and humanitarian law for the EU to facilitate the possibility of replicating a similar procedure to ATCA in the EU.
Keywords: Multinational Corporations, Extraterritoriality, European Union, Jurisdiction, Human Rights
JEL Classification: K10, K20, K30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation