Thursday, July 22, 2021

ESIL Interest Group on International Business and Human Rights Pre-Conference Workshop, "International Business and Human Rights: Changes in International Lawmaking" (8 September 2021)


With great thanks to its convenors--(1) Prof. Belen Olmos Giupponi, Kingston University, London; (2) Dr. Mara Tignino, University of Geneva ; (3) Dr. Mihaela Barnes, Visiting Fellow, Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge; and (4) Prof. Angelica Bonfanti, University of Milan--I am delighted to pass along this announcement for a very exciting workshop organized by the ESIL Interest Group on International Business and Human Rights.  The Workshop, International Business and Human Rights: Changes in International Lawmaking, will be held on 8 September 2021.  The Workshop brings together academics and law practitioners to consider some of the most current issues in the field.  These include convergence, divergence and interconnectivity of domestic and international law; a closer look at private law ordering through the lens of the Palm Oil sector; a consideration of tipping points in regulatory principles; the role of intermediaries and investment treaties; and on complicity in the context of economic activities that produce both human rights wrongs and benefits.  

The announcement nicely frames the event:

On the occasion of the 16th ESIL Annual Conference on Changes in International Lawmaking: Actors, Processes, Impact the Interest Group on International Business and Human Rights invites its members and other interested academic and experts to join a discussion about recent changes in international lawmaking as applicable to international business and human rights.


The theme of the 16th ESIL Annual Conference retrospectively takes us to a time when international lawmaking and its national implementation was relatively easy to understand and control. At that time, international lawmaking took place primarily through international agreements that were initiated, negotiated and concluded via diplomatic channels and then submitted to national legislators for legislative approval or underwent though other processes of domestication. This status quo could not be more different now. Today international lawmaking includes not only new mechanisms, but also new actors such as international government organisations, inter-agency networks, non-governmental organisations, corporations and other private entities. Against this background, the Workshop organized by the ESIL Interest Group on International Business and Human Rights seeks to re- examine changes in international lawmaking, as applicable to international business and human rights. The aim of the Workshop is to assess how, and to what extent new forms of lawmaking, new mechanisms and new actors impacts on the field of international business and human rights in general.


The Program follows.  The event, originally scheduled as an  in person program has been converted into a virtual event out of an abundance of caution given the contemporary situation.

The Program follows.





Welcome and Objectives of the Workshop

The Coordinating Committee

11:00 – 11:15

First session 11:15 – 12:00

Towards a Transnational Framework for Corporate Accountability for Human Rights and Environment: Exploring the Interplay between International and Domestic Law Emanuela Orlando (Lecturer in Environmental Law, University of Sussex)

Regulatory Tipping Points in Business and Human Rights – Kishanthi Parella (Associate Professor, Washington and Lee University School of Law)

Exploring the Smart Mix: An Analysis of The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Initiative Varsha Iyengar (Partner, Arka Law)

Questions and Answers 12:00 – 12:20

Lunch and Networking Break General Meeting with the IG Members 12:20 – 13:00

Second Session 13:00 – 13:30

IBHR Law-Making Through Investment Treaties: Human Rights-Related Obligations of Business Klara Polackova Van der Ploeg (Assistant Professor of Law, University of Nottingham)

Non-state Actors and Law-making in IBHR: The Internet Intermediaries’ Responsibility to Respect Human Rights and the UNGPs’ non-State-based Grievance Mechanisms Mihaela Buzenche (Lawyer, Registry of the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg)

Keynote Speech 13.30 – 14.00

COVID, Control, and Complicity in Rwanda: Human Rights Intersectionality in the Dead Spaces between Legal and Markets Regimes
Larry Catá Backer
W. Richard and Mary Eshelman Faculty Scholar, Professor of Law and International Affairs Pennsylvania State University

Questions and Answers 14:00 – 14:30

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