IBA Annual Conference Sydney 2017

8 Oct - 13 Oct 2017

Room C4.11, Convention Centre, Level 4

Session information

Responsibility beyond the company

Tuesday 10 October (1115 - 1230)

Room C4.11, Convention Centre, Level 4


Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee (Lead)
Business Human Rights Committee


After the Bangladesh factory collapse, there has been movement to hold companies accountable and liable for the behaviour of vendors in the supply chain. The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act and the UK Modern Slavery Act both put the onus on companies to disclose and report their efforts to monitor their supply chains and ensure there are no human rights violations (or report they are doing nothing). What are employers doing to improve the working conditions in their supply chains? How far should this responsibility extend? What are directors’ duties and should they be held accountable? Companies need to comply with domestic laws that may apply to foreign incidents. The health and safety issues in developing countries are very real and companies are being held accountable – either legally or through public relations - for their related operations in these jurisdictions. What are best practices? Are the current supplier codes of conduct sufficient? What is the proper team to address these issues? Why are operational level grievance mechanisms not functioning (properly) and what type of escalation mechanisms do we need? This session will analyse legal requirements, as well as practical solutions. We will discuss why lawyers are important in this area and how they may contribute to designing policy by working with compliance and risk management professionals.

Session / Workshop Chair(s)

Caroline Andre-Hesse Ayache, Paris, France; Corporate Counsel Forum Liaison Officer, Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee


Paul Cutrone Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Joydeep Hor People + Culture Strategies, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Jason Lu River Delta Law Firm, Shanghai, China
Hye C Yu Kim & Chang, Seoul, South Korea