After Ruggie: The Future of Business and Human Rights - from courtrooms to boardrooms and beyond

27 June 2011

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SCIL seminar series 2011

The Sydney Centre for International Law presents its seminar series on cutting edge developments in public and private international law.

The seminars in the series will be presented by members of the Centre and by other experts including leading judges and practitioners who will share their expertise in key areas of public and private international law of relevance, allowing participants to stay up to date in these rapidly changing fields.

Topics to be addressed include the future of private international law in Australia, the regulation of the offshore oil and gas sector in light of international developments, new UN rules concerning the human rights and corporate activities, the legal implications of an emerging Asia-Pacific community and the ethics of cross-jurisdictional practice.

The seminars are designed to appeal to a broad audience. Lawyers and barristers will be entitled to accrue CPD units for attending the seminars.

30 May - Offshore resources law: recent developments
27 June - After Ruggie: the future of business and human rights - from courtroomsto boardrooms and beyond
3 August - Australia's new policy on investor-state dispute settlement

30 August - SCIL and CAPLUS present: building an Asia Pacific community
September - Ethics of cross-jurisdictional practice


After Ruggie: the future of business and human rights - from courtrooms to boardrooms and beyond

Guest speakers
David Kinley, Sydney Law School

Rachel Nicolson, Allens Arthur Robinson

Odette Murray, Attorney-General's Department

About the seminar

In June 2011, the UN Human Rights Council will consider the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These Guiding Principles are the culmination of six years of research, consultation and discussion with governments, businesses and civil society by the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie.

This seminar will evaluate the guiding principles - commending their strengths while criticising their weaknesses. We will consider whether the principles are adequate to address the broad diversity of corporate activities - from extractive industries to financial services.

The guidelines are likely to spur renewed engagement of governments and corporations with the business and human rights agenda. From grievance mechanisms to human rights due diligence, the guiding principles have the potential to significantly impact corporate operations. The directions that might be taken by Ruggie's successor in the mandate (to be decided in early June) will also be discussed.

The seminar will canvass some of the ways in which corporations and their legal advisers, both in Australia and abroad, are already responding to the business and human rights agenda. We will highlight how law firms could and should react in future as the business and human rights phenomenon gains pace.

The seminar will also focus on the role of litigation as a means of corporate human rights accountability, charting recent developments in the landscape of 'Alien Tort Claims Act' suits in the United States Federal Courts. Such suits have been brought against non-US corporations - including Australian corporations - though recent developments may halt this trend.

Time: 5.30-7.30pm (registration and refreshments from 5pm)

Location: Minter Ellison Room, Level 13, St James Campus, 173 - 175 Phillip Street, Sydney

Cost: Full fee: $150; SLS Alumni: $120; F/T students/academics: $44 (all inc GST)

Contact: Events Coordinator

Phone: 9351 0238

Email: 03060d5f0b4e032d2c38323a281d580452431f281c420d31