IBA Annual Conference Sydney 2017

8 Oct - 13 Oct 2017

Room C4.3, Convention Centre, Level 4

Session information

Trade relationships and human rights

Tuesday 10 October (1615 - 1730)

Room C4.3, Convention Centre, Level 4


Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee (Lead)
International Trade and Customs Law Committee


Recent political events in the UK and US have potentially redefined the trade patterns of the world, with challenges to globalised trade itself, international supply chains and existing multilateral trade arrangements. Some have said that the UK will have to ignore ethical issues in order to quickly replace its current trading partners if it leaves the EU on an acrimonious basis. Where exactly do human rights and labour standards fit into the analysis of a suitable trading partner or into the matrix of a bilateral/multilateral trade arrangement? Should trade agreements be used more as a tool to guarantee minimum standards of wage and safety levels in poorer countries, or will nations turn a blind eye to such issues in order to secure the benefits of inexpensive goods and raw materials? The unequal treatment of human beings in the workplace is one of the defining issues of our life and times. This panel of experts in international employment law and international trade will consider the following issues: • EU/US requirements for International Labour Organization (ILO) standards and decent labour standards within the membership; • EU/US requirements for such standards with third parties; • the treatment of labour standards in standard World Trade Organization (WTO) arrangements and other bilateral and multilateral trading arrangements; • the relationship between trading agreements and domestic employment law systems; • the developing extension of domestic law Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles to corporate activities in third countries; and • the dilemma of corrupt or ineffective legal systems.

Session / Workshop Chair(s)

Selvamalar Alagaratnam SKRINE, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Vice Chair, Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee
Johan Lubbe Littler Mendelson, New York, New York, USA; Co-Chair, Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee


Marc Gimmy Taylor Wessing, München, Germany
Hector Gonzalez Graf Marvan Gonzalez Graf y Gonzalez Larrazolo, Mexico City, Mexico
Jadranka Petrovic Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
John Wilson John Wilson Partners, Colombo, Sri Lanka; Senior Vice Chair, Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law Committee