Canadian Court Upholds World Bank Immunity

12 May 2016

The Canadian Supreme Court has found that the World Bank’s immunity shield protects it from having to produce certain files from its bribery probe in Bangladesh that led to Canadian criminal charges against three former employees of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., the country’s largest engineering firm.

The April 29 decision is described in Lawyers Weekly, CTV News and The Globe and Mail.

The Supreme Court said that “the trial judge erred in his finding that the World Bank Group waived this immunity” when it disclosed some of its files to Canadian investigators.

The court also determined that the requested Bank documents were not relevant to a defense motion to exclude wiretap evidence on the basis that it was obtained pursuant to a defective authorization.

Scott Fenton of Toronto’s Fenton, Smith Barristers, who represents one of the accused, told Lawyers Weekly that he is “concerned” that international organizations which actively participate in Canadian criminal investigations and prosecutions now have a green light to make selective disclosure because “no Canadian court can compel them to disclose further information, or otherwise hold them accountable for their conduct.”

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Filed under: IFTI Watch


In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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