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1 Jan 2010

John F. Sherman, III, Harvard Kennedy School; Amy K. Lehr, Foley Hoag law firm, in CSR Journal, ABA Section of Intl. Law (American Bar Assn.)

[PDF] Human Rights Due Diligence: Is It Too Risky? [scroll to p. 6]

Due diligence can and should now be used to assess and reduce a business risk that was only explicitly recognized as a risk quite recently--corporate involvement in human rights abuse... Under this framework [of UN Special Representative John Ruggie], the business responsibility to respect human rights requires companies to conduct human rights due diligence... Conducting due diligence provides corporate boards with strong protection against mismanagement claims by shareholders, usually in the form of derivative lawsuits. [article addresses concerns that due diligence might increase risks from Alien Tort Statute claims, negligence claims, misrepresentation claims, confidentiality obligations; argument that conducting due diligence should result in immunity. Refers to apartheid reparations lawsuits, Chevron lawsuit re Nigeria, Unocal lawsuit re Burma, ExxonMobil lawsuit re Aceh, Nike v Kasky, UK OECD Guidelines cases involving Afrimex, Vedanta]

Part of the following timelines

ExxonMobil lawsuit (re Aceh)

Apartheid Entschädigungsklagen (bez. Südafrika)

Nike lawsuit (Kasky v Nike, re denial of labour abuses)

Unocal lawsuit (re Myanmar)