U.S. Supreme Court Debates Human Rights Case Aimed at Corporations
How can the international community hold multinational corporations accountable for human rights violations? The corporations’ “home” industrialized countries are generally supportive of the wealth-amassing, artificial, legal persons they create, and these states are loathe to prosecute them for crimes committed elsewhere, no matter how heinous. Further, there is no existing international tribunal for prosecuting corporate crimes. This means a lack of accountability for some of the wealthiest and most powerful institutions in the world. These institutions are founded on the concept of limited financial liability. Investors and managers also enjoy limited criminal liability.
Who should be held responsible for gross injustices committed in the name of good business practice, in the interest of maximized profits? Current legal structures are totally inadequate. From the US Supreme Court to the World Trade Organization, tribunals dealing with the business-society conflict continue to lend powerful support to corporate interests over ordinary people’s interests for health and safety and a clean environment. The result? Corporations are getting away with murder.