TOP COURT TO WEIGH VENUE OF HUMAN RIGHTS CASE
The Supreme Court of Canada will help decide whether a human rights lawsuit against a Canadian miner should be heard in B.C. or Eritrea. The high court has agreed to hear an appeal by B.C.-based Nevsun Resources Ltd., which argues the African country would be the more appropriate forum. Refugees from Eritrea allege they were forced to work at a gold mine controlled by subsidiaries of Nevsun and Eritrean state companies. They contend the mine flouted international provisions against forced labour, slavery and torture — accusations that have not been tested in court. Nevsun denies it or a subsidiary enlisted the Eritrean military to build the mine or supply labour, and says the refugees behind the court action were not mistreated. B.C. courts have dismissed Nevsun’s attempts to make Eritrea the forum.