View Author February 2014
After the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) adoption of the conflict minerals rule in 2012, business trade groups filed a lawsuit challenging the degree to which the agency could require supply chain transparency and reporting. Observers expect a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by the end of May 2014. Whether the outcome fully or partially modifies requirements for companies, pressure from activist groups can be expected to continue. Before the SEC’s rule came to fruition, consumer activism had brought much attention to how some armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries benefit from the trade of certain minerals in consumer electronics while violating human rights. Companies awaiting the legal outcome should file their reports, considering the activists’ long-term plans for review and analysis of conflict minerals disclosure.