Business & Human Rights

Michael Karnavas is a criminal-defence attorney and former President of the Association of Defence Counsel of the ICTY. He currently represents Paul Gicheru at the ICC. This post first appeared on his personal blog. … man has consciously and unconsciously inflicted irreparable damage to the environment in times of war and peace.   Richard A. Falk, 1973 And will continue to inflict irreparable...

[Arvind Ganesan is business and human rights director at Human Rights Watch.] The United Nations formally recognized a decade ago that businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights. It was a groundbreaking development. 10 years later, it’s clear that it was only a first step: we need laws that enforce companies’ duty to protect workers and communities from abuse and hold them accountable if they...

[Doug Cassel is Emeritus Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School.] The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this month in Nestle USA Inc. v. Doe that “general corporate activity” in the U.S. is not a sufficient domestic basis to warrant Alien Tort Statute (ATS) jurisdiction over claims against a U.S. corporation for alleged human rights violations overseas. The media response generally echoed that of the...

In my previous posts on the crime of ecocide -- Post 1, Post 2 -- I argued the theoretical/normative case against the IEP's decision to subject lawful acts to anthropocentric cost-benefit analysis via the "wantonness" requirement. In this post, I want to bracket the issue of whether the definition of ecocide should distinguish between lawful and unlawful acts and question...

[Dr. Dalia Palombo  is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen.] Imperialism and Transnational Human Rights Litigation How to hold multinationals to account for human rights abuses? This is a question that has tormented scholars, litigators and advocates. It is difficult to answer because the term “multinational” does not exist in law. From the legal perspective, a multinational is a conglomerate of...

[Gabrielle Holly is a Senior Adviser in the Human Rights and Business Department at the Danish Institute for Human Rights and an experienced commercial disputes practitioner. You can find her on twitter at @Gabriellellell.]  In recent years we have seen tremendous momentum behind moves to introduce mandatory human rights due diligence obligations in law, both at the national level and at the international...

[Penelope A. Bergkamp is a graduate from the National University of Singapore and KU Leuven, and law practitioner in Brussels.] Corporate liability and supply chain liability (SCL) in particular are experiencing a rapid and dramatic revolution. Supply chain liability (“SCL”) is the liability of a multinational corporation for damages caused by its business partners, often in developing countries. The term business partners refers to any business partner,...

[Paul Mougeolle is a representative of the association Notre Affaire à Tous, legal researcher for the NGO Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) and Ph.D. candidate at University of Paris Nanterre and University of Potsdam.] A wind of change is currently blowing in climate change litigation. Plaintiffs secure pioneering wins before the highest courts of Colombia, the Netherlands, Ireland, France and Germany. On the 26th of May...

[Jindan-Karena Mann is a PhD Researcher at the University of Amsterdam and Nicky Touw is a PhD Researcher at the Open University of the Netherlands.] The North Mara gold mine in Tanzania has been under scrutiny for many years now. Reports paint a picture of ongoing corruption, environmental harms, and human rights violations, including the excessive use of force by private security and police forces working with the mining...

[Radu Mares is an Associate Professor, Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Lund University (radu.mares@rwi.lu.se)] The last two decades marked a dramatic expansion of civil liability cases against parent companies. In this period, transnational litigation offered a way to get around the legislative inaction or slowness. Indeed, civil liability principles already exist in all home states. They apply to both natural...

[Ekaterina Aristova is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. Carlos Lopez is a Senior Legal Advisor at the International Commission of Jurists.] Past decades saw an emerging trend towards reliance on civil liability claims to address business-related human rights abuses. A movement that had initial impetus from the United States of America has now expanded to other continents, especially to Europe. The...

[Doreen Lustig is a Senior Lecturer at Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law and the author of Veiled Power: International Law and the Private Corporation 1886-1981 (Oxford University Press, 2020).] Ingo Venzke and Kevin Jon Heller’s edited volume Contingency in International Law: On the Possibility of Different Legal Histories (Oxford University Press, 2021) (hereinafter: Contingency) is a rare editorial accomplishment. A coherent and multifaceted...