Principles of Remedy: A Discussion with EarthRights International

This white paper focuses on the quantum of rights-compatible remedy. It is comprised of two responses to Marco Simons of EarthRights International (ERI), written in reaction to ERI’s critique of Enodo’s public assessment of a grievance mechanism (the Framework) at Barrick Gold’s mine in Porgera, Papua New Guinea. The exchange delves in detail into the issue of compensation under international human rights law, particularly as it pertains to Guiding Principle 31(f), which provides that operational-level grievance mechanisms should ensure that “outcomes and remedies accord with internationally recognized human rights.”

Marco Simons of EarthRights International (ERI), a law firm and advocacy group, recently published a blog post criticizing Enodo’s assessment on a few fronts: (1) our alleged miscalculation of equitable damages for survivors of sexual violence under international human rights law; (2) our critique of certain international stakeholders for potentially endangering survivors of sexual violence; (3) our alleged blaming of survivors for requesting cash compensation; and (4) our alleged inherent lack of independence. The first of these criticisms may be the result of our decision not to provide an intricately detailed explanation of what we, perhaps mistakenly, believed were undisputed principles of international law. I hope to remedy any lack of clarity in this paper. The second two criticisms, I fear, reflect a misunderstanding of what we have written. The last criticism relies, rather troublingly, on innuendo. I will address each issue in turn, with the bulk of this paper devoted to compensation under international law.