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15 Jun 2009

Paul Hoffman, Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman, in Forum Column, Daily Journal [USA]

Shell Settlement a Sign of Hope for Corporate Accountability

The settlement last week of claims that Shell was complicit in the executions of…the…"Ogoni 9" in November 1995, as well as numerous other human rights violations, is another important building block in the emerging system of accountability for international human rights violations…Some have argued that [the settlement amount is] trivial in comparison to Shell's vast financial resources. It was never the plaintiffs goal to bankrupt Shell. No amount of money could restore Saro-Wiwa and the other Ogoni leaders hanged with him to the Ogoni people. The plaintiffs sought some measure of justice for the enormous harms they and their family members suffered…Every settlement makes it harder for major corporations to ignore the prospect of legal accountability in U.S. courts if they refuse to distance themselves from such human rights crimes.