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BIICL report: recommendations for business when nat'l law conflicts with int'l human rights standards

Author: Lise Smit, Arianne Griffith and Robert McCorquodale, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) , Published on: 30 May 2018


When national law conflicts with international human rights standards: Recommendations for Business, May 2018.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (“UNGPs”) expect business enterprises to respect human rights wherever they operate. Where the local legal context contradicts international human rights standards (“IHR standards”), companies are expected to “[s]eek ways to honour the principles of internationally recognized human rights”….Companies should adhere to national law, whilst seeking to respect IHR standards… without much clarity on how to achieve both when they are opposed. This paper aims to assist companies by setting out recommendations as to how companies could address such conflicts [as]:

  1. Undertake comprehensive and ongoing human rights due diligence using a human rights lens…
  2. Identify the nature of the conflict which arises between IHR standards and the national law or practice…
  3. Identify a suitable approach, or combination of approaches, by which the company could seek to adhere to domestic legal requirements whilst respecting IHR standards…
  4. Companies should publicly express their views…
  5. Companies should take some action and not ignore the conflict…

[Refers to Apple, Facebook, Google, IKEA, Microsoft]

Read the full post here

Related companies: Apple Facebook Google (part of Alphabet) IKEA Microsoft