Intl. Bar Association issues practical business & human rights guidance for business lawyers

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Article
15 March 2017

Intl. Bar Association to help lawyers address business & human rights concerns through handbook & training

Author: International Bar Association

"Training lawyers on business and human rights"

...Law firms are increasingly expected to advise their clients on the identification and management of human rights risks...Law firms may also be expected to respect human rights, as businesses are becoming more aware of their supply chain risks...The second part of B&HR project intends to provide a means by which lawyers can respond to the demand from businesses for advice and expertise in this particular area.  Its objective is to address the significant knowledge gap ...in the legal profession regarding business and human rights by providing the following tangible aids...:

  •     an online HANDBOOK for legal practitioners...
  •     a CURRICULUM and a TRAINING PROGRAMME...

The first phase of work is focusing on company and commercial work...This will include an examination of the roles and responsibilities of lawyers in helping companies to develop ethical global supply chains...The curriculum and training programs are designed to assist lawyers in developing their capacity and expertise on human rights in the business context...The curriculum and training will be piloted in Australia in July of 2017...

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Article
1 November 2016

New IBA Reference Annex helps lawyers further understand and take action on business and human rights

Author: IBA Business and Human Rights Working Group & IBA Legal Policy and Research Unit

Lawyers seeking to advise clients on the relevance of human rights to business, and law firms evaluating their own responsibilities as businesses with regard to human rights, will soon have access to a new, additional tool from the International Bar Association (IBA) to assist them: the Reference Annex to the IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers (the ‘Reference Annex’)...The Reference Annex is an in-depth document designed to further businesslawyers’understanding of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) – the authoritative global standard on business respect for human rights – and similar documents...the Reference Annex explains how the UNGPs can be relevant to the advice lawyers provide to clients, as well as their potential implications for law firms as business enterprises. Itis a companion to the IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers, published earlier this year...The Reference Annex is the result of extensive consultation between a diverse group of stakeholders across the legal profession from both within and independent of the IBA membership...

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Article
1 November 2016

Reference Annex to the IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers

Author: IBA Business and Human Rights Working Group & IBA Legal Policy and Research Unit

This Reference Annex is intended to be consistent with the general principles of the Practical Guide.  However, it amplifies and focuses in more detail on some of the potential implications for the legal profession of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) than was possible in the shorter and more focused Practical Guide.  The Reference Annex is based on an in-depth review of the UNGPs; the Interpretive Guide on the Responsibility to Respect prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights; and the extensive literature, ongoing practices and policies of governments, multistakeholder institutions, bar associations and companies...

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Article
8 August 2016

Commentary explains how UN Guiding Principles & Intl. Bar Association guidance apply to law firms

Author: Anna Triponel, Triponel Consulting

“Respecting business and human rights: IBA's guidance on applying the UN Guiding Principles”, 11 Jul 2016

What is the role of lawyers advising companies in today's globalised and rapidly-changing world?...[I]s the lawyer a technical expert, wise counsellor or effective leader?...The International Bar Association (IBA)…pronounced itself on this question in May 2016. In its Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers (Practical Guide), the IBA makes it clear that: Lawyers, both as in-house counsel and as members of law firms, increasingly need to take human rights into account in their advice and services. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) have implications for the management of law firms as business enterprises...Law firms will therefore typically have a range of questions on how the UNGPs may apply to their organisation, including:…Do the UNGPs apply to law firms?...Do the UNGPs hinder the lawyers' ability to provide a robust defence to allegations that a client is engaged in conduct that violates human rights?...Do the UNGPs require my law firm to terminate a client relationship if the client infringes on human rights?...How is my law firm supposed to communicate its human rights approach when its advice to clients is confidential?...Is my law firm supposed to provide remedy where it is involved in impacts?…

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Article
8 June 2016

Full guidance: "IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers"

Author: Intl. Bar Association

The Practical Guide is intended to provide an accessible summary of a complex and nuanced subject by assisting internal and external lawyers who are involved in advising businesses globally through: • Explaining the background and core content of the UNGPs, which are also incorporated into other relevant human rights and responsible business practice standards and approaches, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the IFC Performance Standards, ISO 26000 and supports the UN Global Compact responsible business principles…;• Exploring how the UNGPs may be relevant to the advice and other services they – both in-house and external lawyers – provide to business clients…;• Explaining the implications of the UNGPs for the clients’ right of access to, and representation by, independent legal counsel…;• Exploring the opportunities and challenges that the UNGPs present for lawyers who advise businesses, including both internal and external legal counsel.

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Article
8 June 2016

Press release: "IBA issues ground-breaking Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers"

Author: Intl. Bar Association

On 28 May 2016, the IBA Council, the organisation’s governing body, voted unanimously to adopt the IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers... The Practical Guide responds to growing recognition that the management of risks, including legal risks, means that lawyers need to take human rights into account in their advice and services...While developing the IBA Practical Guide the IBA Business and Human Rights Working Group andtheIBA Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) consulted numerous IBA committees, bar associations, law societies, individual lawyers, civil society organisations, academics and corporations...

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