Former CHRGJ Fellow James Stewart writes NYT Op-Ed “Punish Companies That Pillage”
November 14, 2013

James Stewart was a CHRGJ Hauser Fellow in 2012-2013. He is currently a professor at the University of British Columbia researching international criminal law, the laws of armed conflict, international human rights, comparative criminal law, theory of criminal law, public International law, counter-terrorism, corporate criminal liability, corporate responsibility for international crimes and the Great Lakes Region in Africa. His New York Times Op-Ed raises questions regarding the immunity of businesses extracting resources in war zones:

“Pillage is a war crime. And yet, when it comes to natural resources, companies doing business in war zones have largely been free to plunder with impunity — until now.

This month, Swiss authorities opened an investigation against one of the world’s leading gold refiners, Argor-Heraeus, for pillaging gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the middle of the last decade, according to a criminal complaint filed by Trial (Track Impunity Always), a legal advocacy group based in Geneva, the company refined three tons of gold that had been bought by companies based in Britain and the Channel Islands. The companies had acquired the gold from a Ugandan company, which had bought the gold from Congolese rebels, according to the complaint…”

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