[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Reparations battle continues - to US supreme ct?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun Nov 18 14:44:57 GMT 2007
Apartheid victims' US legal battle rages on
November 18, 2007 Edition 1
The 36 foreign corporations being sued in the United States for
reparations by victims of apartheid are again trying to take the case to
America's supreme court, its highest court, for a final ruling.
In November 2004, a New York district court dismissed the case, largely
because of the objections by the South African and US governments.
But last month a New York appeals court overturned the district court's
judgment and referred the case back to the district court, on several
grounds. One of them was that, because of the separation of powers, the
courts did not have to bow to the opinions of governments, though they
had to consider them.
But the corporations felt that the five-year-old case had been dragging
on long enough and that they should ask the US supreme court to rule on
it. They asked the New York appeal court not to hand the case back to
the district court until the supreme court had decided if it would hear
But last week the appeal court rejected this and confirmed that the case
would go back to the district court.
The corporations are now expected to ask the district court judge not to
restart the case until the supreme court has decided whether or not it
would rule on the issue.
The corporations believe that their case deserves prompt attention
because similar cases against US corporations are proliferating around
the world and so the country's highest court needs to set a precedent.
They believe these cases are discouraging US and foreign companies from
investing in developing countries for fear that they will be held liable
for any human rights offences that are committed by the governments of
those countries in which they are operating.
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