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26 Oct 2015

Brian Ganson, Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement (ACDS)

UN Forum Series blog: Is dialogue working? We need more dialogue to find out

[M]easurement of whether an operational-level grievance mechanism delivers sound results in individual cases and prevents future harm – is “effective” under the UNGPs – can be challenging...To assess a grievance mechanism, we must apply both an objective standard – do processes and outcomes meet human rights standards? – and a subjective one – do processes and outcomes meet the interests and priorities of the parties as these are defined through the dialogue process?...The evaluation of non-judicial grievance mechanisms becomes much more difficult – and contentious – in the many places in which there is no meaningful access to judicial remedy...A possible meeting point for those suspicious of non-judicial grievance mechanisms and those tasked with their implementation is the reminder that “remedy” and “respect” are inherently intertwined. A well-functioning grievance mechanism is meant to be forwards- as well as backwards-looking...Robust, transparent, and inclusive monitoring and evaluation of non-judicial grievance mechanisms – together by companies, communities and other stakeholders, and facilitated by independent third parties – may therefore be the key to the measurement of their effectiveness. To effect respect for human rights consistent with the Guiding Principles, parties should, in dialogue together, broadly consider substance and process, individual and systems-level outcomes, objective data as well as the perceptions of those concerned...