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21 Mar 2016

Marialuisa Taddia, Law Society Gazette (UK)

Law firms cannot afford to be business & human rights laggards

"Business and human rights – moral support", 21 Mar 2016

...Nowadays, as part of a global initiative, not only do lawyers have a duty to report suspicious client activity that may indicate money laundering and tax evasion, they are also under increasing pressure from governments and civil society groups to advise and persuade business clients to respect and protect human rights. And they are at increased risk of being named and shamed if they do not...As business enterprises, law firms should also respect human rights when dealing with employees, suppliers and clients. This means conducting human rights due diligence processes before signing up clients and suppliers; publishing high-level human rights policies; and producing CSR reports in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Guidelines...Law firms cannot afford to be laggards...[L]awyers failing to meet new expectations of them may not end up in court, but could face ‘new judges’ in civil society and the media, imposing ‘new sanctions’.