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Leigh Day response to the ICTUR report on removing barriers to justice for victims of business-related human rights violations

Author: Benjamin Croft, Leigh Day, on Lexology, Published on: 7 September 2017

A new report by the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR), commissioned by a group of civil society organisations, has made a series of welcome recommendations on the development of an effective UN Treaty on business and human rights.

The report identifies a number of barriers to access to justice which we at Leigh Day have identified and documented in a number of the cases we have brought. These barriers include:

  • Courts in parent companies’ home states refusing jurisdiction, such as in the recent Bebe case ;
  • Courts’ refusal to “pierce the corporate veil” to permit parent company liability for the actions of its subsidiaries;
  • The lack of enforceable standards of due diligence;
  • Barriers to accessing to the Court such the lack of funding, restrictive rules of standing and access to documents;
  • Weak enforcement mechanisms.

In our cases Leigh Day frequently confront the barriers highlighted by the ICTUR report...

ICTUR’s report is a welcome contribution to the debate and many of the proposed recommendations – particularly around jurisdiction, corporate liability and due diligence - are to be supported.

Read the full post here