Business and Human Rights – 6637
This seminar will explore the growing area of law and advocacy around corporate accountability and corporate social responsibility related to international human rights standards. The course has several goals: 1) We will examine the development and content of international human rights standards pertaining to corporations and corporate officers, including state, national and international and regional laws and principles including the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights and Business. 2) We will next focus on levels of implementation and varying points of intervention on BHR issues: a) internal corporate policies, b) socially responsible investment shareholder advocacy and divestment, c) disclosure and anti-corruption laws and sanctions, d) trade policies, e) civil litigation, criminal prosecution and internal grievance mechanisms, f) reporting and documentation by human rights organizations, g) international standard-setting mechanisms. To examine these questions, we will use case studies across various industries including supply chains and labor conditions, environmental practices, and violations by security forces employed by multinational corporations. 3) The readings and seminars will encourage students to explore the debates about the most effective ways for businesses to protect and advance respect for human rights, prevent violations, and provide redress to victims of violations that occur as a result of their actions/inaction, and defend themselves when they are falsely accused. 4) Three papers throughout the semester will encourage students to integrate different arguments and course materials, conduct related independent research and develop their own arguments.