Well-oiled defence wins genocide case

Despite George Clooney’s best efforts at the UN on Thursday (14 September), last week was better for oil companies than those campaigning against genocide in Sudan.

A group led by the Presbyterian Church of Sudan failed in the first US human rights case of its kind against Canadian oil giant Talisman. The plaintiffs sued Talisman, represented by Lovells’ New York office, along with the Sudanese government under the US Alien Tort Statute for violation of human rights over the company’s now discontinued oil operations in Sudan. They claimed that Talisman conspired with the government to violently evict people from their homes, among other allegations.

However, a US district judge threw the case out after finding that there was not enough evidence for the claims.

The next case of this kind to hit the courts is a claim against Shell for human rights violations in Nigeria. Cravath Swaine & Moore is defending Shell. Its rival oil companies will hope Cravath does a good job.Get the latest news and an irreverent commentary delivered to your desktop every Wednesday by subscribing to Lawyer News Weekly.

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