Business and human rights: should Canadian corporations be held liable for atrocities abroad?

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Choudhury, Sadia Afroz
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In recent times, there has been an outcry to hold the Canadian corporations liable for the atrocities committed by their transnational subsidiaries. But there is no clear legal route through which these corporations can be held accountable. However, in Choc v Hudbay Minerals Inc the Ontario Superior Court opened new opportunities that is likely to affect the liability of Canadian corporations in the future. In Choc, the court accepted the tortious method of finding liability and also considered piercing the corporate veil. More recently, in Araya v Nevsun Resources Ltd Canadian courts permitted a suit against a Canadian corporation for violation of customary international laws. This approach provided an alternative forum of finding corporations liable. However, the methods applied in both Choc and Nevsun attracted much academic criticisms. This research delves into the plausibility of various methods of finding liability of parent corporations including tortious liability, criminal liability, liability through necessity and also contractual liability. It makes an objective analysis of the jurisprudential and practical implications of all the possible routes. Further, the research also concentrates on the laws of other jurisdictions to focus on a comparative analogy. Finally, attention will be focused on the need for a streamlined statutory intervention in this area.
Human rights, Business