“The Monsanto Hearings are based on a robust international tradition of peoples’ tribunals that dates back 40 years to the Russell Tribunal, which examined human rights violations by the U.S. military in Vietnam.”
The court’s five presiding judges — including a professor, a graduate student and an organic farmer — made no pretense of impartiality. “We are under no obligation to be even-handed,” they announced early on, “because in the court of public opinion, Monsanto is not even-handed. They have money for lobbyists, advertisements, corporate-funded research and media campaigns. The influence of this hearing, by contrast, depends on the power and truth of what is said.” The court, they explained, would not be considering legal violations, but rather violations of nature, ethics and human rights.