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18 Aug 2014

Rachel Nicolson, Dora Banyasz & Freya Dinshaw, Allens (Australia)

Allens law firm considers implications of binding treaty on business & human rights for companies

"Focus: UN Resolution could be the start of a binding treaty on business and human rights", 13 Aug 2014

...[T]here has been a recent international push toward the creation of a binding legal instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations...On 26 June 2014, a resolution...was adopted...[It] establishes 'an open-ended intergovernmental working group'...to 'elaborate an international legally binding instrument to regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of Transnational Corporations...'...An internationally agreed framework...would be beneficial to corporations with overseas operations , as there would be increased certainty around obligations and enforcement options...However, it is too early to determine to what extent a binding legal instrument will be a positive step forward, due to the lack of existing consensus around fundamental issues that will need to feature in the legal framework...In the meantime, businesses should continue to monitor state implementation of the Guiding Principles (including the development of National Action Plans), and align their practices to respect human rights obligations in order to prepare for the future legal landscape.