ARBITRATION, BUSINESS, AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Ten years ago this summer, the United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (the “UNGPs”). The UNGPs are perhaps the most prominent manifestation of an accelerating global trend toward accounting for a legal or quasi-legal obligation on the part of corporations to conduct business in a manner that respects … Read more

CANADA’S NEW 2021 MODEL BIT

On May 12, 2021, Canada published its new Model Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (the “New Model BIT”), revising the 2004 Model Agreement for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (the “2004 Model BIT”). The New Model BIT modernizes Canada’s framework and brings a few interesting innovations in the Bilateral Investment Treaty (“BIT”) world. … Read more

FINAL DUTCH MODEL BIT PUBLISHED: POTENTIAL FOR CLAIMS AGAINST INVESTORS AND LINK BETWEEN GENDER EQUALITY AND INVESTMENT

The Dutch Government has recently published the final version of its model Bilateral Investment Treaty (the Model BIT). The key changes since the May 2018 Draft Model BIT (discussed in our blog post here) are addressed below. The Model BIT includes some practical guidance for investors as to how the requirement of “substantive business interests” … Read more

Bear Creek Mining Corp. v. Peru: the potential impact on damages of an investor’s contributory action and failure to obtain a social license

In an award dated 30 November 2017 (the “Award“), an ICSID Tribunal ordered Peru to pay around US$30.4million to Canadian company Bear Creek Mining (the “Claimant“) following its finding that a 2011 decree (“Decree 032“) constituted an unlawful indirect expropriation of the Claimant’s right to operate the Santa Ana mine (the “Project“). This post discusses … Read more

UK Supreme Court confirms the limited scope of state and diplomatic immunity from employment claims: Benkharbouche and Reyes

In two judgments handed down on 18 October 2017, the Supreme Court (the “Court”) has allowed certain employment claims made by foreign nationals employed as domestic workers at the embassies of foreign states and a diplomat’s residence to proceed despite claims of immunity. The judgments consider important aspects of state and diplomatic immunity, the differences … Read more

Negotiations for an international business and human rights treaty continue in Geneva

An intergovernmental working group mandated to draft a new international legal instrument to regulate the activities of transnational corporations in relation to human rights is holding its third meeting in Geneva this week. Negotiations for a business and human rights treaty have been ongoing since 2014 when the Human Rights Council established an open-ended mandate … Read more

Herbert Smith Freehills joins UN Global Compact

Herbert Smith Freehills is pleased to announce today that it has officially joined the United Nations Global Compact, the world's largest global corporate sustainability initiative. This commits Herbert Smith Freehills to supporting and implementing the ten principles of the Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption and requires the firm to publish a … Read more

International Criminal Court to prioritise prosecution of crimes involving destruction of the environment, illegal exploitation of natural resources and land-grabbing

Introduction The International Criminal Court ("ICC") intends to prioritise the prosecution of cases involving the destruction of the environment, illegal exploitation of resources and land-grabbing, according to a new Policy Paper on Case Selection and Prioritisation published by the ICC's Office of the Prosecutor ("OTP") in September.  A number of NGOs declared the announcement to … Read more

Doing business in Africa: human rights and crisis management

Stéphane Brabant, Partner, and Yann Alix, Senior Associate, have published an article on doing business in Africa, focussing on the need for investors taking a long-term view to consider human rights implications and crisis management. To read the full article please click here. This article was first published in African Banker, Issue 33, 3rd quarter 2015. Read more