February 28, 2020 – Cory Wanless, quoted in the Canadian Lawyer about Supreme Court of Canada case Nevsun Resources Ltd. v. Araya —

A Canadian mining company that is a majority owner in a mine in Eritrea may be sued for alleged abuses that occurred in that country, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Friday. The Court’s ruling holds that corporations can be held liable in civil law for breaches of international law, and that the act of state doctrine is not a bar to the claim. The decision stands to have implications for Canadian companies with operation abroad, notably in the resources, technology and armaments sectors.

“It’s important, because there are a number of corporate accountability lawsuits that are proceeding in Canadian courts right now,” says Cory Wanless of Waddell Phillips PC in Toronto, who was lead counsel for the intervener International Human Rights Program of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law before the Supreme Court.

[A] “big takeaway” from this decision “is that the Supreme Court showed a real willingness to take seriously international human rights law,” Wanless adds, and “a real willingness to engage in these novel questions or how international human rights law should be applied against corporations for breaches of international law.”

Read the full article here.