Symposium on Business & Human Rights

17th – 18th September 2010, University of Essex (UK)

The Symposium on Business and Human Rights, organized jointly by the Law Society of England and Wales (LSEW) and the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex, was held on 17th-18th September 2010 near Colchester, England.

The regulation of business activity by national and international human rights standards is of increasing importance to practitioners, while at the same time it constitutes a frontier area of law making. It has become a focus that practitioners afford to ignore less and less in their daily work, while also being a centrepiece in policymaking concerned with regulation of economic activity throughout the world.

To explore these issues the Law Society, in partnership with the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, held a symposium that brought together people from a wide range of activities and disciplines to explore the concrete ways in which human rights norms have an impact on diverse areas of law dealing with business activity. The themes examined are relevant to all commercial lawyers, and other lawyers who act for, or against, commercial undertakings.

The Symposium offered analyses and a forum for debate on key issues in the challenges for business activity and actors in terms of the evolving law and practice of human rights. With the participation of lawyers, judges, public servants, policy-makers and other practitioners, along with representatives from business, IGOs and NGOs, as well as academics, a wide range of topics were addressed through key-note panels and working sessions. These included: Access to Information; Employee and Enterprise Interests and Human Rights; Commercial Litigation and Human Rights; Investment Decisions; Health and Commercial Interests; Alternatives to Litigations; Corporate Governance; the Public/Private Sector Divide; the Financial Crisis; Corporate Complicity in Human Rights Violations.

The 2-day event also included an art exhibition, theatre performance, live music, and a great opportunity for networking in the pleasant campus setting one hour from central London.

Please click here to see the full detailed programme.