Allegations of extraterritorial corporate misconduct illustrate the global dimensions of Australia’s challenge to implement the United Nations (‘UN’) Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (‘Guiding Principles’). In the mid-1990s, companies in the BHP Billiton group faced claims that they had polluted a river in Papua New Guinea, thereby causing damage to the customary lands and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples. Less than a decade later, the Australian Federal Police commenced a criminal investigation against an Australian-Canadian joint venture for alleged support of government violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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(2017) 40(3) UNSWLJ 1175: https://doi.org/10.53637/AFLT5001
- See Australian Human Rights Commission, ‘Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Australia: Joint Civil Society Statement’ (August 2016) 4, 10–11 (recognising ‘offshore operations of Australian companies’ as ‘key business and human rights challenges for Australia’ and making recommendations about required extraterritorial regulatory actions).
- John Ruggie, Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises: Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework, UN Doc A/HRC/17/31 (21 March 2011) annex (‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights‘). See also John Ruggie, Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises: Protect, Respect, Remedy: A Framework for Business and Human Rights, UN Doc A/HRC/8/5 (7 April 2008) (‘Protect, Respect, Remedy Report’).
- Dagi v The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd [No 2]  1 VR 428; discussed further in Sarala Fitzgerald, ‘Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Violations in Australian Domestic Law’ (2005) 11(1) Australian Journal of Human Rights 2. The case settled.
- Adam McBeth, µCrushed by an Anvil: A Case Study on Responsibility for Human Rights in the Extractive Sector’ (2008) 11 Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal 127, 147–8. See also Joanna Kyriakakis, µAustralian Prosecution of Corporations for International Crimes: The Potential of the Commonwealth Criminal Code’ (2007) 5 Journal of International Criminal Justice 809.