Justinian Lane

Punishing Human Rights Violators: Another Reason to Love the Civil Justice System

Yes, yes, we all know it: The Chinese market is going to be hyooooge for businesses, and it's imperative that American companies get in there now before it's too late.  Unfortunately, that philosophy means that some Chinese citizens will be tortured and killed in order for American companies to make a buck. 

Thanks to the American civil justice system, at least two tortured Chinese citizens will receive some compensation for their suffering:

Yahoo Inc., reeling from a growing backlash over human rights and its China operations, settled a lawsuit that accused it of illegally helping the Chinese government jail and torture two journalists. - Yahoo Settles Lawsuit by Jailed Chinese Journalists

By the way, there's this nice little project put on by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  It's called "The Coalition to Curb Global Forum Shopping," and its goal is to prevent foreign citizens from suing American companies over human rights violations.  According to the "pro-justice" folks at the Chamber, it's just plain "wrong" for U.S. companies to be held accountable in U.S. courts if they happen to violate the human rights of a foreign citizen.  In their eyes, it's much better for the tortured citizens to bring suit in the court system of their own nation.  If their nation happens to be a corrupt dictatorship that prevents them from suing, well, that's just their bad luck.

Of course, the Chamber sees nothing wrong with American companies suing foreign companies in U.S. courts for such terrible sins as copyright violation or other intellectual property crimes. 

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Posted at 12:01 PM, Nov 15, 2007 in Civil Justice | In the News
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I am opposed to all forum shopping. Crimes alleged to have occurred in India should be tried in India, those that took place in the USA should be tried in the USA. The only forum movement allowed should be from State to Federal if true diversity exists

Similarly, class action law suits should be barred - let each alleged victim try their own case in the jurisdiction in which their injury or economic loss occurred

Posted by: Paul W Dennis | November 15, 2007 8:53 PM