Investigating and prosecuting Chiquita Brands International’s employees for human rights violations committed in Colombia

Wheeler, Caleb H. (2018) Investigating and prosecuting Chiquita Brands International’s employees for human rights violations committed in Colombia. In: McGill University Graduate Law Conference – Hard Cases: The Limits of Law, 03-04 May 2018, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Full text is not in this repository.


Thus far in its history, the International Criminal Court has focused its attention on prosecuting government and military leaders. However, there is growing sentiment in the international legal community that the International Criminal Court should extend its reach to include corporations involved in the commission of atrocity crimes. However, this poses particular difficulties because the Court’s Statute, as currently written, limits its jurisdiction to crimes committed by individuals and does not extend to organisations. This paper uses the recent Communication submitted to the Court seeking the extension of the Prosecutor’s Office’s on-going preliminary investigation in Colombia to include claims made against Chiquita Brands International, Inc. as a framework. It examines the current arguments in favour of extending the Court’s criminal liability to include corporations while specifically considering whether corporate amorality undermines the deterrent function of international criminal law. It also specifically addresses the questions raised in the Communication regarding Chiquita Brands International, Inc.’s financial involvement with paramilitary forces in Colombia between 2002 and 2004. Finally, it discusses the modes of individual liability contained in Article 25(3)(c) and (d) of the International Criminal Court’s Statute and analyses whether exposing employees of Chiquita to criminal liability is sufficient to hold the corporation accountable. The paper concludes that the Court should make greater efforts to investigate and prosecute corporate actors for their involvement in human rights abuses. However, it cautions that the facts as they relate to Chiquita suggest that such efforts should not be concentrated on this case as it is unlikely that an investigation will result in a successful prosecution.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law
Item ID: 25406
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Caleb Wheeler
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 10:52
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2019 12:07

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item