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The Human Rights-Related Aspects of Indigenous Knowledge in the Context of Common Law Equitable Doctrines and Implications of the Kiobel Decision

This article will examine the nexus between human rights; knowledge produced, maintained, and regulated by indigenous societies; and equitable principles inherent within private contract law. The issue of indigenous knowledge has generated significant controversy and challenges for the international business community. Scholars have begun to address the need for business managers to be aware of the ethical issues involving indigenous knowledge...This article will extend this area of research by examining the human rights-related aspects of indigenous knowledge in relation to business practices that can significantly harm the indigenous community that produces, maintains, and regulates this category of knowledge. This discussion draws from important international law instruments, such as the draft, "Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights," developed by the…[UN] Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights…Lastly, the article will discuss the implication of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel…