Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Sara Seck and Surya Deva: Course "2021 Summer/Winter School: Business, Human Rights, and the Environment" (25 June 2021)


Pix Credit: Chris LeBoutillier

Just a quick shout out to spread word about what is going to be a marvelous mini-course sponsored by the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment: "2021 Summer/Winter School: Business, Human Rights, and the Environment."  

The course will be taught by the Schulich School of Law's incomparable Sara Seck, with an incisive discussion by the UN Working Group and City University of Hong Kong's Surya Deva.

This course will take place on 25 June 2021 at 1pm CEST. Register for this class here.

Course Description, Recommended Readings (all worth reading even if you are unable to attend the course) and short bios of Professors Seck and Deva follow below.


This course will take place on 25 June 2021 at 1pm CEST. Register for this class here.

Course Description:

This class will consider the implications of the field of business and human rights (BHR) for the prevention and remedy of environmental human rights harms. The class will begin with an introduction to the three pillars of the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: the state duty to protect, the business responsibility to respect, and access to remedy. Other related international responsible business conduct standards that clarify the responsibility of businesses to respect and support environmental human rights, including human rights defenders, will then be introduced, along with developments in due diligence laws. The class will conclude by reflecting on the challenges and promises of access to remedy in light of recent transnational environmental corporate accountability cases, the lack of ratifications of existing environmental liability conventions, and the BHR treaty process.

Recommended Readings:

United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011): https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/GuidingPrinciplesBusinessHR_EN.pdf

Sara L. Seck, “Teaching Note: Human Rights and the Environment,” in Teaching Business and Human Rights Handbook (Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum, 2020), ed Anthony Ewing. https://teachbhr.org/resources/teaching-bhr-handbook/teaching-notes/human-rights-and-the-environment/.

OHCHR, Key Messages on Human Rights, Climate Change and Business (2020): https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/ClimateChange/materials/KMBusiness.pdf

UNEP & OHCHR, Key Messages on Human Rights and Hazardous Substances (2021): https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/35409/HRHS_KM.pdf

UNEP & OHCHR, Key Messages on Human Rights and Biodiversity (2021): https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/35407/KMBio.pdf

Sara L Seck, “Lessons for the Treaty Process from the International Law Commission and International Environmental Law” in Jernej Letnar Černič and Nicolás Carrillo-Santarelli, eds, The Future of Business and Human Rights: Theoretical and Practical Considerations for a UN Treaty, (Intersentia, 2018) 273-298: https://digitalcommons.schulichlaw.dal.ca/scholarly_works/207/

Surya Deva, ‘The Business and Human Rights Treaty in 2020–The Draft is “Negotiation-Ready”, but are States Ready?’ (8 September 2020), http://opiniojuris.org/2020/09/08/bhr-symposium-the-business-and-human-rights-treaty-in-2020-the-draft-is-negotiation-ready-but-are-states-ready/


Sara L Seck is an Associate Professor with the Schulich School of Law and Marine & Environmental Law Institute at Dalhousie University, Canada. She teaches and researches at the intersection of international human rights and environmental law, with particular attention to the business and human rights dimensions.  She is North American director of the Global Network for Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE), a member of the Teaching Business & Human Rights Forum, and a member of the editorial board of the Business and Human Rights Journal.  More about her research can be found on the Schulich Law digital commons.


Surya Deva is an Associate Professor at the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong, and the current Vice Chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.  Professor Deva’s primary research interests lie in Business and Human Rights, India-China Constitutional Law, and Sustainable Development.  He has published extensively in these areas.  Professor Deva is one of the founding Editors-in-Chief of the Business and Human Rights Journal, and sits on the Editorial/Advisory Board of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, the Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law, the Indian Law Review, and the Australian Journal of Human Rights.


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