Emerging Markets, Vanishing Accountability: How Populations in Poor Countries Can Use Aggregate Litigation to Vindicate Their Rights

65 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2014 Last revised: 27 Oct 2021

Date Written: August 19, 2014

Abstract

The United States government, multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, and other actors collectively spend billions of dollars annually on international development assistance earmarked as “rule of law” aid. The professed aim of this aid is principally to lay a legal foundation for a free market economy, attracting large multinational corporations who, the theory goes, can generate economic growth. With new large-scale markets also come new large-scale problems, however, such as defective products, inhumane treatment of workers, environmental degradation and natural resource plunder that existing legal regimes are ill-equipped to handle. There is no “rule of law” aid for poor countries to provide en masse redress for the en masse harm that the aid indirectly causes.

This Article argues that, to protect the welfare of their populations, poor countries should adopt viable methods for aggregate litigation. By enabling the aggregation of disputes for injured parties who are similarly situated, the legal systems in poor countries would provide a remedy for legally-recognized injuries, cause wrongdoers to absorb the costs of the harm that they inflict, deter future mischief, preserve scarce judicial resources and confer constitutive benefits on the litigants who are provided a public forum to tell their collective stories of injustice. In doing so, aggregate litigation would facilitate a much-needed locus of countervailing power to check the abuses and excesses of multinational corporations in poor countries.

Keywords: aggregate litigation, class actions, complex civil litigation, rule of law aid, international development assistance

Suggested Citation

Rathod, Jason, Emerging Markets, Vanishing Accountability: How Populations in Poor Countries Can Use Aggregate Litigation to Vindicate Their Rights (August 19, 2014). Jason S. Rathod, Emerging Markets, Vanishing Accountability: How Populations in Poor Countries Can Use Aggregate Litigation to Vindicate Their Rights, 24 Transnat'l L. & CONTEMP. Probs. 69 (2014). , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2483579 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2483579

Jason Rathod (Contact Author)

Migliaccio & Rathod LLP ( email )

412 H St NE, Suite 302
Washington, DC 20002
United States

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