The Drimmer Report has two main sections. One part catalogs the lawful out-of-court tactics employed by transnational tort plaintiffs. The other part relates the notorious court frauds committed against Dole Corporation in Nicaragua and, allegedly, Chevron Corporation in Ecuador. Both parts are well – and keenly – observed. But the Dole and Chevron disputes are unique in salient ways, and it is misleading to suggest that they exemplify the tactics used by alien tort plaintiffs, or illustrate their purpose.
As a practitioner and commentator, Jonathan Drimmer has long been an erudite and moderate voice in the debate over corporate accountability for human rights abuses. In “Think Globally, Sue Locally,” he makes a significant and spot-on contribution to our understanding of transnational public law litigation, by exploring the varieties of out-of-court experience. In Drimmer’s sample of twenty-five alien tort disputes (including Dole and Chevron), plaintiffs are constantly exerting pressure on companies by shaping the views of the general public, the investing public, and governments. With painstaking care, Drimmer documents twenty-four extra-judicial tactics – from plain old press conferences to slick shareholder proposals. Who knew that mini-documentaries were the next big thing in global tort? The Drimmer Report is correct that cause litigation goes hand-in-hand with human rights campaigning, and it is often unclear which is the handmaiden of the other.