Meet the people on the frontline of the fight against corporate courts
12 July 2019
Over the past few months we’ve been involved in an international movement against corporate courts - a system of secretive tribunals which big business can use to sue governments for taking actions that might threaten their profits. Tens of thousands of people across the UK, and half a million across Europe, have signed a petition to demand that corporate courts have no place in trade and investment policy. But the fight doesn’t end here.
The movement against corporate courts starts from the ground, from the people who’ve been directly impacted and have been fighting back for years to protect their communities from environmental destruction and human rights abuse
Pia Eberhardt from Corporate Europe Observatory (who spoke at our national gathering last month) has been travelling around Europe gathering testimonies from the people on the frontline of the struggle.
Enjoy these inspiring stories and join the campaign by signing the petition against corporate courts.
Roșia Montană, Romania
For 20 years, residents of beautiful Romanian town Roşia Montană have fought plans to build a toxic gold mine, which would have destroyed their home and the environment. They stopped the project in court, where the mine was declared illegal.
But now Canadian company Gabriel Resources is suing Romania in an international tribunal, seeking US$5.7 billion in compensation – nearly 3% of Romania’s GDP.
For 13 years, the citizens of Dubrovnik opposed the construction of a luxury resort on the hill overlooking their city. Ultimately, the project was stopped by Croatian courts. But the company behind it is now suing Croatia using corporate courts, seeking $500 million in compensation - and trying to silence the community in local courts.
After a decade-long inspiring fight, the citizens of the Italian region of Abbruzzo won an important battle against the oil industry: they stopped the Ombrina Mare oil project, which would have had a huge impact on the environment. The government agreed to pass a new law banning oil drilling near the Italian coast. But now, Big Oil is fighting back.
Together, we can make sure that cases like these are a thing of the past and that local communities and governments won’t be subjected to the abuse of corporate power. It’s an issue of global justice and we can all be part of the solution.