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8 Oct 2014

Elodie Aba, Legal Researcher, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

An International Arbitration Tribunal: The solution to ensure access to justice for victims of corporate human rights abuses?

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At an event organised by Clifford Chance, Notre Dame Law School and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in September 2014, Claes Cronstedt from Lawyers 4 Better Business (L4BB) presented L4BB’s proposal for an International Arbitration Tribunal on business and human rights.  The idea that there should be another way to enable victims of corporate human rights abuses to seek remedies when competent courts cannot, came up after the US Supreme Court decision in Kiobel v. Shell…What follows is a brief summary of the main challenges facing the International Arbitration Tribunal, as expressed by…[the participants] who commented on the proposal. A central challenge of the Tribunal will be to instil confidence in parties bringing claims, both businesses and victims…A fundamental question on transparency also comes into play…The proposal is still in its development phase…[F]urther explorations and discussions are necessary to convince sceptics, particularly on the issue of certainty – an issue critical to business – and on the issue of whether the Tribunal would make a real difference on the ground – an issue critical to victims…