Government’s Role

OHCHR Study on Corporate Liability for Gross Human Rights Abuses

Submission, 30 June 2014

In February 2014, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) launched a process to contribute to the conceptual, normative and practical clarification of key issues aimed at creating a fairer and more effective system of domestic law remedies to address corporate liability for gross human rights abuses. The process is designed to contribute to more effective and comprehensive implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights through enhanced preventative and remedial measures in the most serious cases of business related human rights abuse.

As a first step, OHCHR commissioned Dr. Jennifer Zerk as an independent consultant in May 2013 to prepare a study on the effectiveness of domestic judicial mechanisms in relation to business involvement in gross human rights abuses. The study identifies barriers to accessing justice at the domestic level and the effects of differences in domestic approaches on the way that remedial systems are used in practice.

The study concludes by recommending a consultative, multi-stakeholder process of clarification in two parts: i) A consultative process aimed at clarifying key issues of principles and policies; and ii) A process to identify models of best State practice.

This IHRB submission is made in response to OHCHR's invitation for feedback on the issues identified in the study as requiring further clarification. 

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