By a Guest Contributor
Royal Dutch Shell may have a serious problem if they are found to be guilty of violating international ‘human rights’ law, etc. Perhaps this is why the British and Dutch governments have moved to try and shut down a decision on the part of the US Supreme Court that would allow the original case to proceed.
It would appear to me, given your article on the effects of Shell’s pesticide pollution, that Shell could also find itself facing charges of ‘crimes against humanity’, etc., for the continued sale and marketing of pesticides they knew were dangerous to man and animal, and which were very long lived in the environment. I am referring to the case in Brazil where Shell clearly knew what kind of harm they were doing to their workers, the local environment, and through the sale of pesticides whose sale and manufacture had been banned in the mid-1970’s within the US and other countries.
Had an individual done as Shell has done, I have little doubt that Brazilian courts would lock the person away for life in one of their coziest prisons.
An adverse ruling in the Kiobel vs Shell case could lead to further prosecution of Shell, and perhaps Shell management, past and present, for actions that could be considered ‘crimes against humanity’, or gross ‘human rights’ violations, etc., etc.
It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out. Other companies, such as Chevron, etc., also appear to have a stake in this ruling as well.
Wouldn’t it be too bad if corporate management were to find itself stripped of legal protection and on the hook for the harm their decisions caused? Nothing like being held accountable for bad decisions.
Personally, I don’t see much difference between Shell’s conduct toward their employees in Brazil and the manner in which firms like IG Farben treated their ‘guest workers’ (slave labor) during WWII. IG Farben management was out to make as much money as possible just like Royal Dutch Shell was in Brazil. In both cases the motivation was basic greed, coupled with complete, absolute utter contempt for the welfare of their staff. If IG Farben management was guilty of ‘crimes against humanity’, then I don’t see how Royal Dutch Shell management can duck a similar charge for their conduct in Brazil, etc.