Primary Activity: setting up of an international tribunal to judge the environmental and health damage caused by the multinational Monsanto.
Date and place of the events: 14 to 16 October 2016 in The Hague, Netherlands. To register click here and to see the program click here.
To meet the Monsanto Tribunal judges and lawyers, click here.
Detailed info on how this tribunal will function: http://www.monsanto-tribunal.org
Critics of Monsanto claim that the company has been able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products and pursue it devastating activities through a systematic concealment strategy through lobbying regulators and government authorities, lying, corruption, commissioning bogus scientific studies, putting pressure on independent scientists, and manipulating the press.
Our endeavor is based on the observation that only through civic action will we be able to achieve compensation for victims of the American multinational. The procedures are a veritable obstacle course for the victims. They are reluctant to invest time and money in litigation, especially since there is no reason to believe in a positive outcome. Frequently, when a company like Monsanto is the defendant, the company settles out of court, whereby circumventing the establishment of a negative legal precedent.
Currently, it is impossible under law to bring criminal charges against a company like Monsanto or its management, for their crimes against human health and the integrity of the environment.
Each year, Monsanto spends enormous amounts on legal defense to fend off the cases brought by the victims of its activities. This does not encourage the company to change its practices. So long as it remains more profitable for shareholders to take risks in the community – even if that means compensating the victims occasionally – these practices will persist.
Monsanto’s history is a paradigm for the impunity of transnational corporations and their management, who contribute to climate change and the depletion of the biosphere and threaten the security of the planet.
Monsanto is not the only focus of our efforts. Monsanto will serve as an example for the entire agro-industrial system whereby putting on trial all multinationals and companies that employ entrepreneurial behavior that ignore the damage wrecked on health and the environment by their actions.
General purpose of the Tribunal:
To get a ruling – even symbolic – against Monsanto by a bench of real judges, after
veritable proceedings in an international court, and contribute to the establishment of international mechanisms to bring justice to victims of multinationals.
- Assess the case against Monsanto and the damages caused pursuant to international law;
- Assess Monsanto’s actions in relation to the crime of ecocide. Citizens’ movements have made an appeal for international criminal law to recognize this as a crime;
- Consider a possible amendment of the Rome Statute establishing the International
- Criminal Court to include the crime of ecocide, making it possible to try natural and legal persons for this crime.
Expected Results/Impact of the Tribunal:
Public opinion and policy makers will gain heightened understanding of Monsanto’s
practices and their impact on the environment and human rights. The Tribunal will raise awareness of the dangers of industrial and chemical agriculture and the need a shift in agricultural paradigm.
The Tribunal will contribute to the ongoing debate on what it means to hold a company responsible for violating fundamental rights including but not limited to the right to food, health, information etc.
The Tribunal’s work will give victims and their legal counsel the arguments and legal grounds for further lawsuits against Monsanto within their national jurisdictions.
The Tribunal will highlight the need to change international law so that victims of
transnational companies have a means to legal redress.
The Tribunal will show, through the example of Monsanto, why the crime of ecocide must be recognized under international law.
PS: CBAN, (Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, the Canadian umbrella network for GE FREE CV and other grassroot groups,) has signed on to support this tribunal. CBAN has been asked to provide its GMO Inquiry Reports as testimony. This piece of in depth research work was completed in 2015