March 9th, 2012Washington D.C.The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable is a coalition of 15 leading human rightsorganizations working to identify and promote robust frameworks for corporate accountability,strengthen current measures and defend existing laws, policies and legal precedents. We issue thisstatement expressing our disappointment and concern about the decision made by the Quebec Court of Appeal on January 24
to overturn the lower court’s findings in the case against Anvil MiningLimited (“Anvil Mining”).
In November of 2010, the Canadian Association Against Impunity (CAAI) filed a class action against AnvilMining for its alleged involvement in a 2004 massacre near its mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo
(DRC). Anvil Mining is incorporated in Canada’s Northwest Territories, listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange and operates from an office in Quebec; it also has offices in Australia, South Africa and theDRC. The company is accused of providing logistical support to the Congolese military to help themcounter an attempt by a small armed rebel group to take over the town of Kilwa, a key port for Anvil
ns. Congolese military forces, sent to defeat the rebels, were implicated in the killing,rape and torture of civilians in Kilwa. More than 70 civilians were killed, including at least 28 who weresummarily executed.When the case was before the Quebec Superior Court, Judge Benoit Emery ruled that no viable channelsexisted for the Congolese victims and families to seek justice, and that although Anvil Mining
office at the time of the incident was in Perth, Australia, sufficient links existed to establish jurisdictionin Quebec. The Quebec Court of Appeal, in overturning this decision, found that the requirements of the
Quebec Civil Code
(Art. 3148(2)) had not been met with respect to jurisdiction. This finding
contradicted those in the lower court, which held that the principal, if not sole activity, of Anvil Mining’s
Quebec office was the management of the Congo mine, that the role of its Montreal-based VicePresident of Corporate Affairs was necessarily linked to the exploitation of the mine in the DRC, and thatno other viable forum for the survivors of the Kilwa Massacre to seek justice existed.