Press Release / Oct. 29, 2010

Court decision on Congo sanctions Judicial Review ‘regrettable’

It is regrettable that the High Court has denied permission for a Judicial Review of the UK government's decision not to list British companies trading in Congolese ‘conflict minerals' for targeted UN sanctions, said Global Witness today. Global Witness submitted an application to the High Court in July. The application and an accompanying request for a protective costs order were turned down on Wednesday.

"We are not going to challenge the court's decision but still strongly believe that the government should have done more to investigate whether UK companies were trading in Congolese minerals from areas controlled by armed groups. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the biggest bilateral aid donor to the Congo, the UK should be prepared to investigate and, where appropriate, put eligible companies forward for targeted sanctions and to use other diplomatic tools at their disposal to help break the links between mining and the conflict," said Seema Joshi, legal advisor at Global Witness.

"While this is undoubtedly disappointing, at least we now have a clearer idea of how the government decides whether to put individuals or companies forward for sanctions. Transparency in the listing process is essential to prove that governments are genuinely prepared to use targeted sanctions to deter the sort of abuses taking place in Congo. We will continue our work on Congo, which includes analysing mineral supply chains and encouraging companies to take a more active role in ensuring that armed groups are not making money from the illicit mineral trade," she added.  


For more info contact Amy Barry on +44 207 4925858 or Seema Joshi on +44 7912517126

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