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Intl. Bar Association’s draft guidance on business & human rights offers helpful details on lawyers’ duties, says academic

Author: Prof. Richard Moorhead, UCL Centre for Law & Ethics, on Lawyer Watch (UK), Published on: 6 March 2015

“Some thoughts on how lawyers are responding to the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights,” 25 Feb 2015

The IBA has produced a working draft of  Business and  Human  Rights Guidance for Bar Associations...[which] provides an excellent introduction to the area…and teases out some of the very interesting issues that face lawyers…The IBA suggests Bar Associations…should adopt organisational structures for managing business and human rights activity; consider programmes of comprehensive  education; review  ethical  codes  of  conduct …and provide guidance  and  technical  assistance on how lawyers should implement the principles…[A]dvising or assisting clients may…constitute linkage, contribution or…cause…Advice to clients on the law…in any jurisdiction may not be enough to comply with the principles.  National law may be at odds with international human rights standards and the lawyer may need to help the client look at ways of meeting international standards in spite of such laws…There is also an expectation that, “firms  might  be  expected  to  exercise  leverage  in  order  to  influence  their  clients  to  respect  human  rights”…

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