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     April 2013        

Released on April 01, 2013, 1:00 AM EST
Tag #: 654
Social Justice: Protecting rights and against corruption

City Spent $ 86,142.00 tax dollars to defend the misconduct of bureaucrats’ in Human Rights legal proceedings from 2009 to 2012.
Negligence and incompetence of top bureaucrat in human resources department challenged

Canapini: "Bad legal advice" Fowke: “Negligence and incompetence”

WikiLeaks Sudbury’s investigative team uncovered that City spent $ 86,142.00   (from 2009 to August 2012), defending bureaucrats against complaints in human rights proceedings at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Human Rights violations drastically increased in the last few years and it seems like no corrective actions have been taken to prevent any further escalation.  It was alleged that Human Resources department attempted to hide deplorable human rights violations committed by bureaucrats in the City. The allegations are varying from sexual harassments to employee discrimination. The administrative immunity provided by Human Resources department to the City’s top bureaucrats is a major root cause of the ongoing human rights violations.

There was no public admission of guilt, no taking of responsibility, no public firing or demotions. The City’s top group of corrupt bureaucrats always enforce stiff resistance for anyone who questioned them. This seems to be aided by Jamie Canapini, the City solicitor. Their plan to keep the public under dark is inexcusable. City’s bureaucrats should accountable for the quality of stewardship over public funds.

The City’s legal services department consists of 11 full time staff as well as in-house lawyers. Interestingly, none of the lawyers, including the Assistant City solicitor Kristen Newman, never appeared before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, and external lawyers were continually hired at the cost of tax payers. Details of tax dollars were spent for external lawyers to defend bureaucrats in legal proceedings at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal as described in Table 01.  


Amount $







as of August 2012




Table 01: Tax dollars spent for external lawyers to defend City’s bureaucrats against Human Rights proceedings, 2009 up to August 2012

Figure 01: Tax dollars spent for external lawyers to defend top bureaucrats at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, 2009 up to August 2012

Figure 02: Trend analysis Tax dollars spent for external lawyers to defend top bureaucrats at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal 2009 up to August 2012
*Estimated method: Simple average

Figure 03: Real time analysis - Tax dollars spent for external lawyers to defend City’s bureaucrats against Human Rights proceedings, 2009 up to August 2012


Model Summary

Parameter Estimates

R Square

















Independent variable: Year , Dependent Variable: Amount $

Table 02:
Real time analysis -  Tax dollars spent for external lawyers to defend City’s bureaucrats against Human Rights proceedings, 2009 up to August 2012

These results (Figure 03 and Table 02) indicate huge issues in the workplace.  Human rights violations are clearly statistically significant [F (1, 3) = 23.730, ρ = 0.017] and director of human resources an organization development failed to take any corrective measures.

Jamie Canapini is the City Solicitor and heads the Legal Services Division, Kristen Newman is the City Assistant Solicitor, and  Kevin Fowke is the Director of Human Resources and Organizational Development of City of Greater Sudbury.  


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Released on April 01, 2013 at 1:00 AM EST

The original article initially published on The Yale Law Journal, 111 (3), 443-545. Excerpts from the article as follows.   

Corporations and Human Rights: A Theory of Legal Responsibility

The last decade has witnessed a striking new phenomenon in strategies to protect human rights: a shift by global actors concerned about human rights from nearly exclusive attention on the abuses committed by governments to close scrutiny of the activities of business enterprises, in particular multinational corporations. Claims that various kinds of corporate activity have a detrimental impact on human welfare are at least as old as Marxism, and have always been a mantra of the political left worldwide. But today's assertions are different both in their origin and in their content. They emanate not from ideologues with a purportedly redistributive agenda, but from international organizations composed of states both rich and poor; and from respected nongovernmental organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, whose very credibility turns on avoidance of political affiliation. Equally importantly, these groups do not seek to delegitimize capitalism or corporate economic power itself, but have criticized certain corporate behavior for impinging on clearly accepted norms of human rights law based on widely ratified treaties and customary international law.

Any answer not depending exclusively on diverse and possibly parochial national visions of human rights and enterprise responsibility must come from international law. International law offers a process for appraising, and in the end resolving, the demands that governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations are now making of private enterprises. Without some international legal standards, we will likely continue to witness both excessive claims made against such actors for their responsibility and counterclaims by corporate actors against such accountability. Decision makers considering these claims-whether legislatures or international organizations contemplating regulation, courts facing suits, or officials deciding whether to intervene in a dispute involving business and human rights-will respond in an ad hoc manner, driven by domestic priorities or by legal frameworks that are likely to differ significantly across the planet. The resultant atmosphere of uncertainty will be detrimental to both the protection of human rights and the economic wealth that private business activity has created worldwide.

Protecting human rights solely through obligations on governments seems rather uncontroversial if host states represented the only threat to human dignity, or if states could be counted on to restrain conduct within their borders effectively. However, a system in which the state is the sole target of international legal obligations may not be sufficient to protect human rights. I justify the need for corporate responsibility first by examining the shortcomings of placing human rights duties solely on states, the primary holders of international legal obligations. Corporations are powerful global actors that some states lack the resources or will to control. Other states may go as far as soliciting corporations to cooperate in impinging human rights. These realities make reliance on state duties inadequate. Beyond the practicalities of corporate power, human rights theory rejects efforts to limit duty holders to states or to those carrying out state policy. Then it is necessary to examine the shortcomings of individual responsibility as an alternative to state responsibility. In this context, corporate law provides guidance to international law on the need to view corporations, and not simply those working for them, as duty holders. Thus, both the corporate entity's potential impact on human rights, and theoretical understandings of the nature of human rights and of business enterprises, render corporate responsibility practically necessary and conceptually possible.

Indeed, the same broad claim about government reluctance could be (and has been) leveled at the entire enterprise of human rights law, which is premised on the notion that domestic law may not offer sufficient protections for human dignity. And yet states have still come together over the last fifty years to draft an impressive corpus of human rights instruments and empower various institutions to monitor compliance and even adjudicate violations. This revolution has clearly affected the way that governments act toward their citizens and even promoted wide-scale changes in governmental structures to promote democracy. As for the obvious reluctance of many governments to curb their abuses in practice even as they promulgate and promise to adhere to human rights norms, this cognitive dissonance represents one of the ways in which international law and institutions can improve state and non state behavior over time, as targets of norms find it increasingly difficult to walk away from their professed commitments.

This is not to suggest that the law is the end of the story: Political and economic interests will surely drive the various actors as they make their claims and work to accommodate them, just as they do in other areas where international law is relevant. And corporations will have reasons for discussing enterprise activities that do not breach legal standards. Nonetheless, the law can, as it does in countless other areas of international affairs, offer a common language in this debate, as well as a set of standards that can be enforced. The duties resulting when these actors work through the above theory will clearly satisfy no group fully. But if prescribed and applied by legitimate and effective institutions, or enforced through corporate self-regulation, these norms represent the beginning of a more global and coherent response to new challenges to human dignity.

WikiLeaks Sudbury
April 01, 2013

Ratner, S.R. (2001). Corporations and Human Rights: A Theory of Legal Responsibility, The Yale Law Journal, 111 (3), 443-545.

Related Documents
Corporations and Human Rights: A Theory of Legal Responsibility:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7
Elements of a Theory of Human Rights: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4




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