Canadian Lawyer

September 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 36 of 51 35 their boards of directors or in hiring, but have not met those commitments, says John Terry, a partner and civil litigator at Torys LLP in Toronto. "A lot of those [claims] focus on represen- tations that are being made," he says, "and a failure to comply with that representation. If [that] leads to some sort of movement in the share price or reputational damage, there are litigation risks that arise from that as well." Canadian companies operating abroad The social aspect of ESG can include work- place safety conditions, human rights infringe- ments, diversity and inclusion, consumer protection, and modern-day slavery. In the 1980s, litigants began bringing claims in the United States regarding human rights violations in other countries, says Terry. "We wondered about Canada," he says, and in the decades since then, several NGOs and other plaintiffs have started to bring claims against the extractive indus- tries, alleging violation of human rights in different jurisdictions. One notable case was Nevsun Resources Ltd. v. Araya. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the lawsuit against the Canadian mining company for violations of customary international law in Eritrea could go forward. In that case, three Eritrean workers claimed they had been conscripted to work in the mines under what was essen- tially a forced labour program. BLACK CLASS ACTION LAUNCHED December 2020: a class action by Black federal employees is launched in Canada. The lawsuit "is seeking long-term solutions to permanently address systemic racism and discrimination in the Public Service of Canada." Source:

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