By: Kirit Date: 2019-03-05
In a historic decision on Feb 27, 2019, the US Supreme Court decided that the multilateral development institutions such as the World Bank could be prosecuted in the American courts for the adverse impacts of their overseas projects on local communities, environment, and economy. This particular case was filed by a small fishing community from the Gujarat coast affected by the World Bank funded ($450 millions) Tata-Mundra power project in Mundra, Kutch, Gujarat. This historic judgement removes the legal immunity claimed in entirety by the international organizations under the International Organizations Immunities Act (IOIA) passed by the US Senate in 1945.
The local communities and governments in the global South can now approach to the US courts for seeking environmental justice against the industrial and development projects funded by the multilateral and bilateral institutions led by the US government. It also creates moral pressure on OECD and EU countries, that control the institutions such as IMF, to follow the suit.
For more information see: https://earthrights.org/case/budha-ismail-jam-et-al-v-ifc/