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13 Hum. Rts. & Int'l Legal Discourse 21 (2019)
Looking for the Missing Piece of the Puzzle: Corporate Accountability in Transitional Justice

handle is hein.journals/hurandi13 and id is 23 raw text is: 



                 IN   TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE

                          LAURA GARCiA MARTfN*


 Corporations often develop their activities in territories affected by armed conflict or
 authoritarianism. However, human  rights abuses in which companies are involved in
 such contexts are not usuallyconceptualised as part oftransitional justice programmes.'
 Instead, transitional justice has traditionally been focused only on State-sponsored
 violence, which may help to explain this accountability gap.2 Nevertheless, recognising
 the role of all actors involved, including business, in those situations of conflict and
 repression is crucial to properly addressing the root causes of violence and the possible
 links of complicity in human rights violations. Historically, abuses in which companies
 have been involved have  frequently enjoyed impunity. While   it is still debatable
 whether to punish the company's managers or directors or the corporation as an entity,
 it seems to be clear that penalising the company itself may provide a greater deterrent
 for corporations than the isolated prosecutions of individuals.3 However, holding
 corporations effectively accountable is not an easy task.
   In 2004, the UN  Security Council was already discussing the role of business in
conflict prevention, peacekeeping, post-conflict situations and peacebuilding.4 The
former Secretary General, Kofi Annan, noted then that while the economic dimension
of armed conflict is often overlooked, it should never be underestimated. Similarly, he

     Postdoctoral researcher at University of Seville (Human Rights and Globalization Research Group)
     and University of Antwerp (Law and Development Research Group). Igarcial7@us.
I    See Sabine Michalowski, Introduction, in: Sabine Michalowski (ed.), Corporate Accountability in
     the Context of Transitional Justice 1-6 (London: Routledge, 2013).
2    Military or armed groups have also received transitional justice attention in post-conflict situations,
     but only when limited to individual responsibility.
     As Ramasatry notes, while individuals may be prosecuted and punished, this may have little effect on
     the corporate behaviour, which could continue its misconduct. Anita Ramasastry, Corporate
     Complicity: From Nuremberg to Rangoon - An examination of forced labor cases and their impact on
     the liability of Multinational Corporations, Berkeley Journal of International Law 20(I), (2004): 91-159.
     UN Security Council, Security Council Discusses the Role of Business in Conflict Prevention,
     Peacekeeping, Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, Press Release (New York: UN Security Council, 2004).

13 HR&ILD 1 (2019)


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