Vedanta court ruling a 'major victory for corporate human rights campaigners'

Lise Smit and Gabrielle Holly, Ethical Corporation


A UK court decided in October 2017 that the UK- based copper company Vedanta can be held responsible under UK law for the activities of its Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). The Court allowed nearly 2,000 Zambian farmers to sue the parent company for the harm to local waterways through water discharged from one of its copper mines. 

The Court's decision that the parent company potentially holds a duty of care to 2,000 farmers who claim they are affected by the activities of its Zambian subsidiary is a landmark finding that could have far-reaching implications for corporate supply chains, argue Lise Smit and Gabrielle Hoy.

It could be an important step towards forcing global companies to take responsibility for the rights of workers and communities along their entire supply chain.

Read the full article here.

The ruling was considered one of the top ten developments in international law in 2017 according to the Oxford University Press (OUP) blog (see full list here).