The Right to Water, Privatised Water And Access to Justice: Tackling United Kingdom Water Companies’ Practices in Developing Countries

(January 2007)

Damon Barrett, Vinodh Jaichand, South African Journal of Human Rights, Vol 23, 2007 – Issue 3

As states are increasingly urged to privatise water supply and delivery by the Bretton Woods institutions, there are no additional norms to hold multinational corporations accountable to anyone but their shareholders. Though there is a human right to water, if multinational corporations violate that right the victims’ access to the courts may be hampered by the lack of financial resources to gain redress. To this extent, privatisation is eroding human rights implementation. Strategically, it may be worthwhile to consider litigating in the United Kingdom’s courts where the ‘interest of justice’ so demands, even though there is a forum for adjudication in the country where the violation took place. Read more