On 10 April 2019 the much awaited decision of the British Supreme Court on whether the case of 1826 Zambian villagers against Vedanta Resources Plc (“Vedanta”), a British mining company and Konkola Copper Mines (“KCM”), its subsidiary could proceed in the UK was published. The Supreme Court’s decision had been eagerly awaited by victims of multinational corporation operations abroad on the one hand and by companies domiciled in the UK with subsidiaries, branches and suppliers abroad and who may, potentially, be held responsible for actions taking place in foreign countries. This case note begins with a brief introduction to the case before considering the inter-related issues of a) jurisdiction of the English courts over parent companies and subsidiaries for actions of the subsidiary abroad and b) the existence and extent of a duty of care of parent companies. The note concludes with some brief reflections on the future of extraterritorial litigation and on the so-called ‘direction of travel’ in business and human rights litigation generally.
Blanco, E. (2019). Vedanta, a long awaited landmark in extra-territorial tort litigation against parent companies: Reflections on jurisdiction