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puce Newsletter AGTER December 2019. For an International Court of Justice with the power to hold corporations legally accountable for human rights violations !
Mathieu Perdriault
La lettre d'information du réseau Agter

La lettre d'information du réseau Agter

The association AGTER runs an international network of people, exchanging and thinking together how to improve the governance of land, water and natural resources.The network selects and makes information available but it also formulates suggestions and alternatives to face the current great challenges. This quaterly newsletter is presenting the latest information available on our website : www.agter.asso.fr.

20 December 2019

For an International Court of Justice with the power to hold corporations legally accountable for human rights violations!

by Mathieu Perdriault

Translated from French by Jesse Rafert

A global alliance has formed to advocate for the creation of a supranational court with the judicial authority to prosecute corporate human rights abuses! In an age where profit is consistently valued over the public interest, AGTER is fully supporting the alliance and invites you to do so by signing this petition in favor of a binding UN treaty that prioritizes respect for human rights!

International human rights law enshrines essential individual and collective rights: the rights to life, liberty, security, shelter, health, education, adequate nutrition, access to natural resources, and civic and political freedoms. These rights are enacted in international treaties that have been signed by a vast majority of the world’s governments, such as the United Nations Charter (1945), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)…

However only a handful of highly specific cases are heard at the international level. In other words, no international human rights court currently has the power to hold individuals, governments, or corporations accountable for every case of human rights abuse. The states that signed these treaties promised to enforce fundamental human rights at the national level. However, many national court systems fail to provide all citizens with reliable access to impartial justice.

Is corporate freedom more important than human rights? International trade and investment rights are scrupulously enforced by supranational courts, which have the power to impose non-derogable sanctions on states that violate International Investment Agreements. National governments willingly defer to their judicial authority, regularly agreeing to pay tens of millions of dollars to corporate plaintiffs seeking relief under these agreements.

In 2009, Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Public Law at the University Paris - Diderot, shed light on the devastating effects that this double standard has had on natural resource sharing and preservation during one of AGTER’s thematic meetings. This specialist in international law and political theory brought great clarity to the duality of international law, which is “hard” when it comes to the enforcement of trade and investment rights and “soft” when it comes to the enforcement of fundamental human rights, and discussed the effect that the current system has had in the realm of land and natural resource use. She emphasized the need for a supranational judicial entity with the authority to identify and punish those of their actions that must be condemned as well as corporations ones.

Since then, our organization has continued to highlight this lack of supranational “justiciability”, which means the need of a supranational judicial entity with the authority to enforce human rights standard. We have continually drawn attention to the inadequacy - and risks of - efforts aimed exclusively at developing non-binding and unenforceable international agreements (for example, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, or the Peasants’ Rights Declaration). These may lead citizens to lose even more faith in human rights law, which already lack efficacy.

Today, thanks to the national and international campaigns for a binding UN treaty, many organizations are now advocating for the creation of a supranational court with binding judicial authority. National governments and private economic interests obviously oppose this plan. Citizens must therefore impose it on them.

During this early stage of our effort to create a judicial hierarchy that benefits everyone, your signature and assistance sharing this petition widely will play a crucial role in giving this demand weight. Organizing or participating in discussions about this issue, and continuing to draw attention to the impunity enjoyed by multinationals and national governments that violate fundamental human rights, will also make it more persuasive. We must put an end to this scandal.

You can find more information about these campaigns, and about AGTER’s thematic meeting featuring Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, in the article “For an International Court of Justice with the power to hold corporations legally accountable for human rights violations!/ Pour une Cour mondiale de justice à même de sanctionner les entreprises coupables de violations de droits fondamentaux !,” below.

The conference-discussions that the Cit in France against Land Grabbing organized at the beginning of the year focused on the communities confronting Bolloré-Socfin plantations in Cameroon and Cambodia and the various transnational resistance strategies that they have developed. The conference-discussion that took place on January 15th focused on “The Binding UN Treaty.” Summaries of these conferences are linked under the “video” rubric below.


The issue of land preservation in Europe is also the subject of intense debate. In France, the struggle against “Large Useless Projects” is a newsworthy topic in many areas of the country, as demonstrated by popular resistance to plans to pave the “ZAD” (Zone to be defended in French, as named by the opponents to a new airport here) in Notre Dame des Landes near Nantes, and the “Triangle de Gonesse” in the north of Paris. In both cases, strong vigilance remains necessary regarding governmental land preservation measures which are finally granted, as those may be clearly insufficient. The statement that Robert Levesque, AGTER’s President, produced in response to a public consultation regarding the “Protected Agricultural Zone” project in Gonesse (link below) reveals the importance of continuing to mobilize.

According to the coalition in favor of “legislation that encourages the preservation and sharing of agricultural and natural lands” (organized upon the request of AGTER, Terre de Liens, and the Confédération Paysanne), France’s rules concerning land affectation and use must be reviewed in their entirety. Coalition members shared their analyses and proposals during a colloquium held at the National Assembly. The event demonstrated that there is currently little consensus regarding the importance of such legislation amongst members of the Parliament... You can find a link to the video recording of this debate below.

article(s) French  Spanish English  - video French 


28 Janvier 2020. Conférence d’Abdallah Ben Saâd. Mieux prendre en compte le foncier pour renforcer la sécurité alimentaire en Tunisie

6 January 2020

AGTER vous invite à sa prochaine réunion thématique publique :
Mieux prendre en compte le foncier pour renforcer la sécurité alimentaire en Tunisie
Conférencier invité : Abdallah BEN SAAD (Maître de conférences de l’enseignement supérieur agricole au Laboratoire d’Economie Rurale de l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie) Mardi 28 janvier 2020, de 18h45 à 20h30 Amphithéâtre, bâtiment 1
Jardin d’Agronomie Tropicale de Paris René Dumont, Cité du Développement Durable, 45 bis Avenue (...)

Pour une Cour mondiale de justice à même de sanctionner les entreprises et les États coupables de violations de droits fondamentaux !

19 December 2019, by Mathieu Perdriault

AGTER donne un avis très défavorable au Projet de Zone Agricole Protégée (ZAP) du Triangle de Gonesse

19 December 2019, by Robert Levesque

Dans le cadre de l’enquête publique sur la Zone Agricole Protégée (ZAP) Triangle de Gonesse ouverte par la Préfecture du Val d’Oise (Nord de Paris, France), Robert Levesque, Président d’AGTER, a envoyé un avis aux services de l’État le 18 décembre 2019. Il y fait une contre-proposition en cohérence avec la lutte contre le dérèglement climatique et l’érosion de la biodiversité que la France doit mener.

Devoir de vigilance : responsabilité juridique des entreprises et impacts sur l’agriculture au Sud Note 17 Coordination Sud

19 December 2019, by Commission agriculture et alimentation (C2A) de C-SUD

La loi française sur le "devoir de vigilance des sociétés mères et entreprises donneuses d’ordre" adoptée en 2017 est mise en avant par beaucoup d’ONG et syndicats comme une avancée majeure pour améliorer le respect des droits humains fondamentaux par les entreprises. Cette note de Sud en évoque quelques aspects et limites et pointe la nécessité de recours juridiques plus directs encore, et universels, en rappelant les dégâts considérables que l’exploitation des terres et autres ressources naturelles par les grandes entreprises capitalistes causent, dans une large impunité, aux communautés humaines et à l’environnement. Elles souligne en particulier l’importance des campagnes pour un traité ONU contraignant à l’endroit des multinationales.

FRANCE. Sans nouvelle loi foncière, la destruction des espaces naturels se poursuivra à un rythme insoutenable Tribune lemonde.fr 2019/12/03

17 December 2019, by Collectif (SOL, France Nature Environnement, Confédération Paysanne, CCFD-terres solidaires, Fed.Conservatoires Espaces Naturels, AGTER, Notre affaire à tous, Solidarités Nouvelles Logement, Terre de liens)

Tribune de la Coalition pour une loi foncière qui préserve et partage les espaces agricoles et naturels

COLLOQUE - Assemblée nationale. "Partager & protéger la terre. Plaidoyer pour une nouvelle Loi foncière" 27/11/2019 [16h-19h]

17 November 2019, by l’équipe d’agter

Ce colloque, organisé à l’Assemblée Nationale française par plusieurs députés, a été l’occasion pour AGTER, Terre de liens, la Confédération paysanne et plusieurs autres membres de la coalition "pour une loi foncière qui préserve et partage le foncier agricole et naturel" (FNE, FNAB, CCFD Terre solidaire...) de présenter leurs propositions.

Deber de vigilancia: responsabilidad jurídica de las empresas e impactos en la agricultura en el Sur Nota 17 Coordination Sud

19 December 2019, by Commission agriculture et alimentation (C2A) de C-SUD

La ley francesa sobre el "deber de vigilancia de las sociedades matrices y de las empresas ordenantes" adoptada en 2017 ha sido destacada por numerosas ONG y sindicatos como un gran paso adelante para mejorar el respeto de los derechos humanos fundamentales por parte de las empresas. Esta nota de Coordination Sud discute algunos de sus aspectos y limitaciones y señala la necesidad de recursos legales aún más directos y universales, recordando el considerable daño que causa a las comunidades humanas y al medio ambiente la explotación de la tierra y otros recursos naturales por parte de las grandes empresas capitalistas, con una impunidad generalizada. En particular, subrayan la importancia de las campañas a favor de un tratado de la ONU que sea vinculante para las multinacionales.

Duty of Vigilance: corporate legal responsibility and impacts on agriculture in the Global South The Notes of South. # 17

19 December 2019, by Commission agriculture et alimentation (C2A) de C-SUD

FRANCE. Land Offices, a « Land Utopia », adapted from Edgar Pisani

15 December 2019, by Gwenaelle Mertz

A presentation of the Land Office (Office Foncier), central piece of the innovative system imagined by Edgard Pisani, former Minister of Agriculture in France in the 1960s, to improve the management of agricultural lands. Pisani’s land project was part of the program of the Socialist Party for the elections of 1981, but once the Left came to power, it was quickly abandoned. While some practical arrangements may now seem to have aged a bit, his proposals are still overall of remarkable relevance.


Echange avec Neth Prak (BIPA, Cambodge) sur l’accaparement des terres du peuple Bunong

20 December 2019, by Collectif citoyen en France contre l’accaparement des terres (CCFCAT)

Echange avec Neth Prak, porte parole de l’Association du peuple Bunong (BIPA) dont les communautés sont en lutte contre des accaparements de terres, et notamment contre le groupe Socfin/Bolloré qui a installé des plantations d’hévéa sur leur territoire. Organisée le 15 janvier 2019 par le Collectif citoyen en France contre l’accaparement des terres, cette conférence a fait suite à la projection du film d’Anne-Laure Porée et Guillaume Suon « Le dernier refuge », produit par Rithy Panh.

Conférence Accaparements de terres, luttes des communautés et leviers internationaux. Exemple au Cameroun

29 November 2019, by Collectif citoyen en France contre l’accaparement des terres (CCFCAT)

Résumé vidéo de la conférence organisée le 13 février 2019 par le Collectif citoyen en France contre l’accaparement des terres consacrée au cas des plantations Socfin Bolloré au Cameroun - avec le témoignage d’Emmanuel Elong, de Synergie nationale des paysans et riverains des plantations du Cameroun (Synaparcam) - et aux stratégies d’action internationale dont, notamment, la revendication d’un traité ONU contraignant à l’endroit des firmes multinationales en matière de respect des droits humains fondamentaux.

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