The Human Rights Clinic focuses on Business and Human Rights in Latin America with a view to address the responsibility of home states for the activities of private companies operating in Latin America, as well as international standards set within the Inter-American Human Rights System regarding business and human rights. To date, the Clinic has opened two projects:
The impact of extractive industries on the realization of human rights in Latin America
The purpose of the project is to inform a report on the responsibility of home states for the activities of private extractive companies operating in Latin America that can lead to human rights violations. Research will focus on the legal framework in Canada, international standards set within the Inter-American Human Rights System and the identification of illustrative cases.
Project Partner: Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), Washington, D.C.
Supervisor: Professor Penelope Simons
Project Coordinator: Salvador Herencia
Project activities include:
Hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
- Hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights during the 166th Extraordinary Period of Sessions, entitled "Measures to prevent Human Rights violations by Canadian extractive industries that operate in Latin America" (December 2017):
- Text of the Human Rights Clinic Presentation (in English);
- Video of the Hearing (audio in English and Spanish).
- Hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights regarding Business, Human Rights and Prior Consultation in the Americas (March 2015).
- Text of the Participating organizations regarding the Right of Prior Consultation in the Americas (English)
- Video of the hearing (audio is in English, Spanish and Portuguese)
- Amicus to the Federal Supreme Court of Mexico regarding the international standards of prior consultation regarding the use of genetically modified soy beans in the territory of Mayan communities (September 2015)
- Summary of the Amicus (in English).
- Amicus Curiae presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the Xucuru Indigenous People v. Brazil (April 2017).
On April 4, the Human Rights Clinic of the HRREC, University of Ottawa, in association with Due Process of Law Foundation, the Núcleo de Estudios en Sistemas Internacionales de Derechos Humanos of the Federal University of Paraná and the Rede Rede de Cooperação Amazônica submitted an amicus curiae on this case to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) regarding the recognition, demarcation and titling of the Xucuru indigenous territory.
In this case, the Court will have to determine if the state of Brazil is responsible for the violation of the rights of personal security, collective property and right to due process and judicial guarantees, due to the unjustifiable delay in the demarcation of the Xucuru territory, located in the Northeast of the country.
The amicus analyses the legal and administrative framework regarding the protection of Indigenous territory in Brazil, highlighting the challenges in the implementation of consultation processes. The amicus also identifies the standards applicable to the recognition, demarcation and titling under the UN and the Inter-American Human Rights System, while showing comparative experiences from Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
We are asking the IACtHR to determine and to expand on what "culturally appropriate" means in policy and legislation regarding the rights of Indigenous Peoples, while asking the Court to take into consideration the issue of "reconciliation" as a means to engage in a discussion about the relationship between the State and Indigenous Peoples as a whole.
- Text of the Amicus Curiae (only available in Portuguese).
The Standing of Legal Entities (corporations) before the Inter-American Human Rights System
The purpose of the project is to submit an amicus curiae to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding the standing of legal entities before the Inter-American Human Rights System and the question of whether legal entities may be beneficiaries of the human rights protections set out in the American Convention on Human Rights.
- Questionnaire (in English) by the Republic of Panama requesting an Advisory Opinion to the IACtHR
- Submission of the Amicus to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (March 2015)
- Video of the hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (June 2015)
- Advisory Opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights "Entitlement of legal entities to hold rights under the Inter-American Human Rights System" (February 2016 - only in Spanish)
- Unofficial summary of the Advisory Opinion made by the Human Rights Clinic of the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa (June 2016 - in English).
Supervisor: Penelope Simons
Project Coordinator: Salvador Herencia