Nov 23rd, 2012 5:21 PM UTC
By Claire Hazelgrove
We may have be working away trying to convince European leaders to protect lifesaving EU aid in their budget negotiations, but we couldn’t possibly let the news go unmarked that Jersey has voted to bring in the vulture funds law that ONE members having been pushing them to.
This is a great success for our movement. Think back to where we were only a few short months ago – vulture fund FG Hemisphere was using Jersey’s courts to try and collect $100m from the Democratic Republic of Congo for an old, much smaller debt.
Almost 50,000 ONE members signed a petition asking for Jersey to bring in in legislation to stop this ever happening again. After pressure from ONE, our friends at the Jubilee Debt Campaign, and finally a public consultation, Jersey’s Chief Minister, Ian Gorst, committed to bringing the law in. Then, after another push and against the odds, the DRC’s appeal to the UK Privy Council was successful, and the vulture fund defeated.
Now, the law is on its way.
Wow! This campaign shows just how important it is to take a stand. Had the 50,000 of you not signed the petition, had we not gone to Jersey to hand in this petition to the Chief Minister’s office, had we not all kept on pushing… then this may well not be the result we see today.
Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign. Jersey was by no means the last target for vulture funds, so our work continues, but this is a great step in the right direction.
Jul 18th, 2012 3:34 PM UTC
By Claire Hazelgrove
We have some great news to share in the fight against so called vulture funds, which make money by buying up old debt against developing countries, and using the courts around the world to sue them for the full amount in order to reap massive profits.
In a surprise decision today the UK Privy Council, which decides cases of Jersey law, has ruled against vulture fund FG Hemisphere in a case brought against Democratic Republic of Congo.
FG Hemisphere was using the courts in Jersey to try and collect $100m from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The debt originated in the 1980s when the Yugoslavian government lent money to dictator General Mobutu to win contracts for their businesses.
Today’s judgement marks the final appeal in a case for payment on a debt bought by FG Hemisphere for just $3 million.
ONE has been campaigning for months alongside our friends at the Jubilee Debt Campaign to see an end to vulture funds using Jersey’s courts to prey on poor countries for old debt.
Nearly 50,000 ONE members signed our petition to Jersey’s Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst and thanks to our pressure, he announced that Jersey would introduce a law, similar to the one in the UK that will stop vulture funds preying from Jersey’s courts.
But this was too late for the current case. So today’s court decision is great news.
After having much of their debt cancelled by the IMF and World Bank just last year, the impact of losing this case would have been devastating for the on the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the people living in extreme poverty.
But of course the defeat of one vulture does not mean a defeat for all. So rest assured that ONE will continue to campaign on this issue. We’ll also be closely monitoring the situation in Jersey to ensure that the promised law comes into force soon.
Thank you to all ONE members who took action on this issue. Your voice was so vital in standing up for what was right.
Nov 16th, 2011 6:35 PM UTC
By Claire Hazelgrove
Now that progress is under threat.
Vulture funds make money by buying up old debt against developing countries, and using the courts to sue them for it in order to reap massive profits. That’s just wrong.
The problem is, that while the vulture funds law brought in the UK last year finally stopped this activity happening here, this doesn’t currently extend to Jersey.
Right now, vulture fund FG Hemisphere is using Jersey’s courts to claim $100m from the Democratic Republic of Congo, on a debt thought to have been bought for $3.3m.
After having much of their debt cancelled by the IMF and World Bank just last year, the impact that this will have on the DRC, and people living in extreme poverty, is just unimaginable. This shouldn’t be happening – let alone so close to home.
Join ONE and the Jubilee Debt Campaign UK in asking Jersey’s Chief Minister to take a stand, by extending the law that already exists here in the UK. It’s simply not right to turn a blind eye.
Thanks for your support on this, and please ask your friends to sign up too.
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