The first in a three-part webinar series presented by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, in collaboration with the IBA Legal Policy & Research Unit.
This session, the first in a series entitled ‘The UNGPs – reimagining remedy’, will provide a general overview of where we are and where we are heading in terms of the use of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) by courts and tribunals.
The panel will recap the key findings of Debevoise & Plimpton’s report for the UN Working Group, The Impact of the UNGPs on Courts and Judicial Mechanisms (commissioned by the UN Working Group in support of its UNGPs 10+ project). Although the report found that there are only a limited number of national judicial decisions which explicitly refer to the UNGPs, the principles have been more widely referenced by international courts and tribunals, as well as Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development National Contact Points. Furthermore, the report evaluated how the UNGPs have been highly influential in shaping business and human rights legislation over the past ten years, including France’s Loi de Vigilance, modern slavery legislation in the UK and Australia, and conflict mineral regulations in the US and Europe.
The panel will consider the current gaps in the uptake and implementation of the UNGPs as highlighted in the report, and ask what this means for remedying human rights violations over the next decade. In particular, the panel will discuss the raft of new mandatory human rights due diligence laws, and consider whether they can provide greater access to remedy through specific sanctions and civil liability regimes.
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Abrahams Kiewitz, Cape Town, South Africa
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, London, England
Chair of the UN Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, Seattle, Washington, USA
Vice President, European Parliament, Helsinki, Finland