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1 Dec 2023

International Bar Association (IBA)

International Bar Association (IBA) releases updated guidance on business and human rights for lawyers

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"IBA announces publication of updated guidance on business and human rights for lawyers", 1 Dec 2023

The International Bar Association (IBA) Business and Human Rights Committee (‘Committee’) and the IBA Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) have announced the release of the 2023 Updated IBA Guidance Note on Business and Human Rights: The role of lawyers in the changing landscape (Updated Guidance).

In 2016, the IBA Practical Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers was issued to assess the implications of the 2011 United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and related standards for the legal profession. It noted the widespread uptake of the UNGPs, their growing importance to States, businesses and civil society, as well as their incorporation into law and impact on legal practice.

In 2023, relevance of the UNGPs to the legal profession has rapidly increased... The 2023 Updated Guidance seeks to provide lawyers with insight into the UNGPs and other standards between 2016 to now and reflects on the hardening of soft law during this time.

Over the last 18 months work has been underway to update and simplify the 2016 IBA Guidance on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers by a small group of expert lawyers – listed at the end of the document. This Updated Guidance was drafted in English and is being translated into Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. It received approval from the IBA Bar Issues Commission earlier this year. Following this, during the 2023 IBA Annual Conference in Paris, France the IBA Council unanimously endorsed and approved the Updated Guidance for release...

The IBA facilitated a consultation process mid-year, in 2023, to inform the contents of this Updated Guidance, and to ensure it is genuinely accessible and useful to IBA members and lawyers all around the world...