[Blog Symposium] Delocalized Justice: the delocalization of corporate accountability for human rights violations originating in Africa

Published 12 October 2021

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In March 2021, the Asser Institute held a digital conference around the theme of Delocalised Justice, with the support of the AfronomicsLaw blog. We discussed situations in which wrongs were suffered at the hands of corporations on the African continent and Global North institutions were asked to deliver justice. A well-known example is the Kiobel case against Shell in the Netherlands. Now, a bilingual (French and English) blog symposium features a sample of the papers presented at the conference by scholars from all over the globe.

The conference was held to nurture the conversation around delocalized justice in corporate accountability cases originating on the African continent. Most of these instances of delocalized justice are driven primarily by the victims’ legitimate pursuit for justice when it is unavailable to them at home. The conference encouraged the participants to engage with three main themes around the idea of justice processes being delocalized from the Global South to the Global North. Three guiding questions were identified:

  • Is delocalized justice a desirable and effective way to hold Global North corporations accountable for human rights violations linked to their activities that affect African rightsholders?
  • How should such delocalized justice be operationalized to account for its delocalized nature?
  • Under which conditions could such processes remain localized within African institutions?

This symposium aims to encourage a more systematic and critical scholarly engagement with the delocalization of justice in BHR cases involving harms suffered in African states, and the Global South more broadly.