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International arbitration: remedy for victims in business and human rights disputes

Author: Claes Cronstedt, Jan Eijsbouts & Robert C. Thompson, on Lawyers for Better Business, Published on: 10 February 2017

International arbitration holds great promise as a method to resolve human right disputes involving business.  These disputes often occur in regions where official national courts are dysfunctional, corrupt, politically influenced or simply unqualified.  Parties to such disputes, generally Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) and the victims of human rights abuse linked to MNEs, need a private system that can function in these regions...The drafting of the BHR Rules would begin with the formation of a drafting team composed of experts in various aspects of international human rights disputes and chaired by a leading specialist in international arbitration...Once an institution has accepted such rules, it could be seen as a business and human rights court of international arbitration...Another important use would be for MNEs to build international arbitration into their programs for carrying out their responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the UNGPs) and other international and national instruments...International arbitration using a BHR Arbitration Panel would amount to a judicial system without a country. It would reinforce global governance by effectively protecting the rule of law and fundamental rights − creating its own momentum.

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