A UK failure to prevent mechanism for corporate human rights harms: Is it legally feasible?

Event | 11 February | London

In March 2017, the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights released a report on business and human rights in which it proposed the introduction of a "failure to prevent" mechanism for corporate human rights abuses. The Committee suggested that such a mechanism could be "modelled along the same lines as section 7 of the Bribery Act." One of the most significant innovations of the UK Bribery Act 2010 lies in the introduction of a new offence of failure on the part of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery being committed in connection with its business.

BIICL, with support from international law firms Hogan Lovells and Quinn Emanuel, conducted a study into the feasibility of such a "failure to prevent" mechanism.

Through a business survey, three rounds of consultations, and legal analysis, the report considers the legal elements of such a possible mechanism, with reference to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It also analyses the survey findings regarding the perceived benefits of such a mechanism and experiences with the UK Bribery Act.

After the preliminary findings were presented at the 2019 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, the full report will be launched at this event at BIICL in London. Speakers will consider how such a mechanism would work within the UK legal system, how this will impact companies, and how it relates to the legal developments around mandatory human rights due diligence.  


  • Professor Robert McCorquodale, Inclusive Law
  • Julianne Hughes Jennett, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
  • Peter Hood, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
  • Francis West, Shift
  • Marilyn Croser, CORE

Event convened by Lise Smit, Senior Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights. Director, Human Rights Due Diligence Forum and Dr Irene Pietropaoli, Research Fellow in Business & Human Rights, BIICL

Pricing and Registration

This event is free to attend, however, advance registration is required below.