The US Supreme Court has “vacated” (i.e. relinquished) an earlier decision by another court, to hear a case against Rio Tinto, alleging its responsibility for war crimes (et al) on the island of Bougainville.┬áSteve Berman, a lawyer for the Bougainville plaintiffs admit this is a setback – claiming it represents a “complete reversal of well-established precedent spanning several decades”. However, says Mr Berman, “the battle [is] not over”, and the case will now be moved back to the Ninth Circuit court for further argument.
Meanwhile, at its recent AGM in Papua New Guinea, Rio Tinto’s Bougainville Copper subsidiary released a study which lent further weight to its own “case” for re-opening the Panguna mine.