On February 27, 2019, the US Supreme Court in a 7-1 decision ruled that international organisations like the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private-lending arm of the World Bank Group, do not enjoy absolute...
Historic Supreme Court Win: World Bank Group Is Not Above The Law
In a historic 7-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Jam v. IFC that international organizations like the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group do not enjoy absolute immunity.
The Court’s decision marks a defining moment for the IFC – the arm of the World Bank Group that lends to the private sector. For years, the IFC has operated as if it were “above the law,” at times pursuing reckless lending projects that inflicted serious human rights abuses on local communities, and then leaving the communities to fend for themselves.
Analysis of the Judgement
The Supreme Court Rules in Jam v. International Finance Corporation (Lawfareblog.com)
Wake Up World Bank (Down To Earth)
US Supreme Court Construes Scope of Immunities in Jam (Lexology.com)
No Longer Above The Law, The World Bank Faces Fight Of Its Life (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)
The World Bank Must Clean up its Act (Nature)
Jam v. IFC – What does it mean for Accountability? (Green Climate Fund)
The US Supreme Court Judgment: A Challenge to World Bank’s unfettered immunity (Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt)
US Supreme Court rules against the World Bank’s claim of absolute immunity (Brettonwoodsproject.org)
Lifting The Veil On Legal Immunity To Multilateral Institution (Business Standard)
Media Coverage of the Ruling
Gujarat Farmers Win The First Round Against World Bank (Bloomberg Quint)
No Absolute Immunity For World Bank Affiliate: US Supreme Court (Down To Earth)
US Supreme Court Revives India Power Plant Lawsuit (MoneyControl.com)
World Bank’s Legal Immunity Stripped, Opening Door for Lawsuits (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)
What does the US Supreme Court’s decision on IFC impunity mean for Indian fishermen? (Business and Human Rights Resource Centre)
IFC’s kettle of fish (The Statesman)
Photos: Tata Mundra
Tata Mundra UMPP(CGPL)
Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (―CGPL or the ―company) will build, own and operate a 4,000MW (5 units of 800 MW each) ultra mega‘ supercritical technology based power plant at the port city of Mundra in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India (the ―project). CGPL is sponsored by Tata Power Company Limited (―Tata Power) who owns 100 per cent of CGPL. In May 2011, CGPL announced the successful completion of the steam blowing process at Unit 1. The four remaining units will be commissioned at subsequent intervals of four months each. The total project cost is estimated at about US$4.14 billion. IFC invested $450 million of its own capital in this project, which IFC has classified as a category A project, signifying that IFC believes there are potentially significant adverse social and environmental impacts that may be diverse or irreversible.
Financiers: A consortium of Banks including multilateral agencies and Exim Banks invests in this project which costs the US $4.14billion. Financing comprises of the equity of INR 42.50 billion, External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) of up to USD 1.8 billion and Rupee Loans of up to INR 55.50 billion. The ECBs include the International Finance Corporation, the Export‐Import Bank of Korea, Korea Export Insurance Corporation, the Asian Development Bank and BNP Paribas. National financial institutions (FIs) involved are SBI, the India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd., Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd., Oriental Bank of Commerce, Vijaya Bank, State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Indore.
Challenging IFC’s immunity in US Federal Court:
In 2015, Fishing communities and farmers from India filed a suit against the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank Group, in federal court in Washington, D.C. In the suit, titled Jam v. IFC, the fish workers alleged that the IFC caused the loss of their livelihoods, destroyed their lands and water, and created threats to their health by funding the Tata Mundra coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, India. Earths Rights International is representing the fish workers community.
- Client Stories
- IFC Motion to Dismiss – July 2015
- Jam v. IFC Complaint – April 2015
- Jam v. IFC Order Granting Motion to Dismiss – March 2016
- Dr. Erica R. Gould Amicus for Appellant – August 2016
- Daniel Bradlow Amicus for Appellant – August 2016
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, et. al Amicus for Appellee – November 2016
- Jam v. IFC Appellee Brief – December 2016
- Jam v. IFC Appellants Opening Brief – December 2016
- Jam v. IFC – Appellant Reply Brief – December 2016
- Opinion – June 2017
- Petition for Rehearing En Banc – July 2017
- Jam v. IFC Cert Petition – January 2018
- Transcript of the Arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States of America – October 31, 2018
- An audio recording of the oral Arguments made at the Supreme Court of the United States of America – October 31, 2018
Engagement with Accountability Mechanisms:
Compliance Advisor Ombudsman:
- Complaint: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/TataMundraCAOComplaint_June112011.pdf
- CAO Audit Report: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/CAOAuditReportC-I-R6-Y12-F160.pdf
- IFC response to CAO Audit Report: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/IFCresponsetoCAOAudit-CoastalGujaratPowerLimited.pdf
- IFC response and Action Plan: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/IFCCGPLStatementandActionPlan.pdf
- IFC statement on Action Plan: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/IFCCGPLStatementandActionPlan.pdf
- First Monitoring report of Action Plan: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/CGPLmonitoringreportJanuary2015.pdf
- IFC Response to the First Monitoring Report: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/IFCPublicResponseCGPLCAOMonitoringReport_Final.pdf
- Second Monitoring report: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/CGPLSecondCAOMonitoringReportFebruary2017.pdf
- A new complaint filed by the affected fish workers of Tragadi village: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/case_detail.aspx?id=245
- CAO Assessment Report of the Second Complaint Regarding IFC’s investment: http://www.cao-ombudsman.org/cases/document-links/documents/CAOassessmentreport_CGPL_April2017_English.pdf
Compliance Review Panel:
- Complaint: https://lnadbg4.adb.org/dir0035p.nsf/attachments/complaint-mundra-ultra-mega-power-project.pdf/$FILE/complaint-mundra-ultra-mega-power-project.pdf
- CRP’s compliance Report: https://lnadbg4.adb.org/dir0035p.nsf/attachments/Mundra-CRPFinalReport-7Apr2015.pdf/$FILE/Mundra-CRPFinalReport-7Apr2015.pdf
- MASS response on the Report: http://masskutch.blogspot.in/2015/04/#9137746199599121982
- MASS response to the Remedial Action Plan: http://masskutch.blogspot.in/2015/07/#5352623638949185112
- First Monitoring Report: https://lnadbg4.adb.org/dir0035p.nsf/attachments/Mundra-1stMonitoring-IN356-16-ForWeb.pdf/$FILE/Mundra-1stMonitoring-IN356-16-ForWeb.pdf
- Second Monitoring Report: https://lnadbg4.adb.org/dir0035p.nsf/attachments/Final-Mundra-2ndMonitoringReport-ForWeb.pdf/$FILE/Final-Mundra-2ndMonitoringReport-ForWeb.pdf
- MASS response to the Second Monitoring Report: http://www.cenfa.org/finance/adbs-annual-monitoring-report-on-tata-mundra-rejected-press-statement/
- Comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment (CEIA):
- Volume I: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Comprehensive-EIA-CGPL-Vol1.pdf
- Volume II: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Comprehensive-EIA-CGPL-Vol2.pdf
- Volume III: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Comprehensive-EIA-CGPL-Vol3.pdf
- Rapid Marine Environment Impact Assessment (RMEIA):
- Volume I: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Rapid-Marine-EIA-CGPL-Vol1.pdf
- Volume II: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Rapid-Marine-EIA-CGPL-Vol2.pdf
- Volume III: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Rapid-Marine-EIA-CGPL-Vol3.pdf
- Volume IV: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Rapid-Marine-EIA-CGPL-Vol4.pdf
- Volume V: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Rapid-Marine-EIA-CGPL-Vol5.pdf
- Supplemental Environmental Impact Assessment:
- Volume I: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Supplemental-EIA-CGPL-Vol1.pdf
- Volume II: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Supplemental-EIA-CGPL-Vol2.pdf
- Volume III: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/spiwebsite1.nsf/0/4FD3C63990A4CDA3852576BA000E32F8/$File/Supplemental%20EIA-CGPL%20Vol3.pdf
- Volume IV: http://www.cenfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Supplemental-EIA-CGPL-Vol4.pdf
- Influx Management Plan: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/spiwebsite1.nsf/0/4FD3C63990A4CDA3852576BA000E32F8/$File/Influx%20Management%20Plan-CGPL.pdf
- Compensation Management Framework: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/spiwebsite1.nsf/0/4FD3C63990A4CDA3852576BA000E32F8/$File/Final%20Compensation%20Management%20Framework.pdf
- Baseline social Impact Assessment: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/spiwebsite1.nsf/0/4FD3C63990A4CDA3852576BA000E32F8/$File/Baseline%20SIA-CGPL.pdf
- Tata Ultra Mega Environmental & Social Review Summary: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/spiwebsite1.nsf/2bc34f011b50ff6e85256a550073ff1c/4fd3c63990a4cda3852576ba000e32f8?opendocument
- Tata Ultra Mega Summary of Proposed Investment: http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/spiwebsite1.nsf/1ca07340e47a35cd85256efb00700cee/EAB8E042D643A6EC852576BA000E2B15
- Real Cost of Power: http://www.bankinformationcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Real+Cost+of+Power.pdf
- The Increasing human Cost of Coal Power https://www.banktrack.org/download/the_increasing_human_cost_of_coal_power/suplimentary-report-final.pdf
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