54 Doughty Street
020 7404 1313
Thursday 28th March 2019
6.15pm - Registration
6.30pm - Start
8pm - Drinks
In the first of our Business and Human Rights Roundtables for 2019, Doughty Street Chambers is delighted to invite you to a discussion about The Role of Lawyers in Developing Company-Level Remedial Strategies. We are particularly pleased that we will be joined by colleagues from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights who are currently consulting on the topic.
This event is aimed primarily at lawyers, both in-house and private practice, working in company/commercial law, project finance, risk, public affairs, and litigation (both claimant and defendant). It may also be of interest to those working in civil society and trade unions. To facilitate a lively discussion, the Chatham House Rule will apply, and our colleagues from the UNOCHR will be most interested in your thoughts, which will feed into the third phase of their Accountability and Remedy Project (click here for more information on that).
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights call on all companies to “establish or participate in effective operational-level grievance mechanisms for individuals and communities who may be adversely impacted” by a company’s business activity (UNGP 29).
Lawyers can play a key role in helping their clients establish effective company-level remedial strategies, but these can take many forms depending on the nature of the business: grievance mechanisms may be administered in-house, but where a business relies on complex supply chains there may be benefits in collaborating with civil society, auditors, and industry specialists. And with many different approaches available, many different risks may arise.
This discussion looks to explore how in-house and external lawyers can contribute to designing effective strategies, and how they might correctly analyse and manage risk.
Key questions to consider include:
- What are the main legal risks and benefits involved when companies develop and design their own grievance mechanisms? How might this approach reduce legal risk (e.g. by providing an “early warning” system, or demonstrating due diligence)? And what is the role of lawyers in making sure that these benefits are recognised and enhanced?
- What are the main legal risks and benefits involved when companies collaborate with other companies and organisations (e.g. multi-stakeholder initiatives, civil society, or industry level initiatives) to deliver non-judicial remedy in business and human rights cases? How can the risks be managed in practice? What is the role of lawyers in encouraging and facilitating successful and sustainable collaborations?
- How can State-based institutions (e.g. courts, regulators, law enforcement agencies) support and encourage the efforts of companies to deliver effective remedy for human rights harms through company-based grievance mechanisms?
- How should company-based grievance mechanisms interface with law enforcement authorities? How can company-based mechanisms complement, rather than undermine, court processes?
Chair: Krishnendu Mukherjee, Doughty Street Chambers
Dr Jennifer Zerk
Ben Shea, Associate Human Rights Officer, UNOHCHR
To reserve your place, or if you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org