New step in the Total case
The association "Les Amis de la Terre" stated on its website that it has decided to appeal the Total case, which concerns the group's oil activities in Uganda, that we reported in our newsletter in January ("The Vigilance Act: a first legal action has been initiated in France").
As a reminder, several NGOs and associations, including "Les Amis de la Terre", filed a lawsuit in late 2019 against Total for its oil mega-project in Uganda, based on the duty of care ("devoir de vigilance") (Law No. 2017-399 of March 27, 2017 on the duty of care of parent companies and contractors).
In its January 2020 decision, the Nanterre judicial court declared itself incompetent, in favour of the commercial court. "Les Amis de la Terre" believes that the jurisdiction of the commercial court would risk being unfavourable to the interests it defends.
In its context, "Les Amis de la Terre" has therefore decided to appeal, even though the French courts are currently almost completely paralyzed due to the Covid-19 crisis, which could delay the setting of a hearing date. In view of the urgency of the situation in Uganda and the serious repercussions that extended procedural delays could have, "Les Amis de la Terre" request that the Court of Appeal not only decide the question of jurisdiction, but also examine the substance of the case.
Links : Affaire Total Ouganda : nous faisons appel dans un contexte de justice au ralenti,Les Amis de la Terre ; La loi sur le devoir de vigilance : une première action en justice est intentée, Lettre de la Compliance