Doing Business Right Winter Academy - The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: From theory to practice

28 January 2019
  • Starts at: 09:30h
  • Fee: Regular fee: €1295 / Student fee: €750
  • Venue: T.M.C. Asser Instituut
  • Organiser: T.M.C. Asser Instituut
  • Address: R.J. Schimmelpennincklaan 20-22
    2517 JN The Hague
    Netherlands
  •   Register

The Asser Institute will hold its second Doing Business Right Winter Academy from 28 January to 1 February 2019. The academy is an educational programme dedicated to the growing field of business and human rights.

After the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011, a flurry of initiatives by international organisations, national governments, corporations and civil society organisations have seen the light. New national laws are being adopted, new corporate codes are being drafted, and a new international treaty is being negotiated to define and regulate the responsibilities of businesses for human rights. Our Winter Academy will equip a new generation of professionals with the necessary theoretical and practical skills to navigate and actively engage with these transformations, be it as a lawyer, NGO activist, corporate adviser, government official or researcher.

A hands-on comprehensive programme 
The Winter Academy will feature high level academic lecturers who are currently shaping the scholarly debates on business and human rights and practitioners with a hands-on experience in the field. Participants will acquire a well-rounded understanding of soft and hard, legal and non-legal accountability mechanisms, and numerous interactive sessions that provide the opportunity to apply theoretical insights to various concrete case studies.

The Winter Academy 2019 covers the following key issues:

  • The theoretical and historical roots of the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs)
  • The various implementations of the UN Guiding Principles at a national and transnational level
  • The practical functioning of the responsibility of corporations to conduct human rights due diligence
  • The effect of the UN Guiding Principles on the accessibility of remedies in business and human rights cases
  • The need for a binding treaty on business and human rights to complement the UN Guiding Principles

Application

  • Registration for this programme is now open, please click on the register button above to fill out the form.

Please read the Registration Information and Conditions carefully before registration.

Conference fees:
Regular fee: € 1.295
Student fee: € 750

Scholarships

Five partial student scholarships available to outstanding master students and PhD candidates. Application deadline: 1 January 2019. 

More information and application instructions here. For inquiries and to apply please contact Antoine Duval at a.duval@asser.nl

Programme:

28 January 2019 – Doing Business Right beyond the state: Foundations of the UN Guiding Principles
09:30   Welcome and introduction – Antoine Duval (Asser Institute)
10:45   The UN Guiding Principles: A theoretical perspective - Karin Buhmann (Copenhagen Business School)
12:30   Lunch
13:30   The road to and from the UN Guiding Principles - Nadia Bernaz (Wageningen University) 

29 January 2019 – The UN Guiding Principles in (national) action
09:00   Introduction: Implementing the UN Guiding Principles within the state - Antoine Duval (Asser Institute)
11:00   The Australian/UK model: A modern slavery act - Shamistha Selvaratnam (Asser Institute)
12:30   Lunch
13:30   The Dutch model: Multi-stakeholder sectoral implementation of the UN Guiding Principles – Jef Wintermans (Dutch Social Economic Council - SER) TBC
15:30   The French model: Binding due diligence - Elsa Savourey (Herbert Smith Freehils)

30 January 2019 – The UN Guiding Principles in (transnational) action
09:00   Introduction: Implementing the UN Guiding Principles beyond the state - Antoine Duval (Asser Institute)
11:00   Translating the UN Guiding Principles into transnational rules: The OECD Guidelines on multinational enterprises - TBC
12:30   Lunch
13:30   Embedding the UN Guiding Principles into transnational corporations - Irina van der Sluijs (ASN Bank)

31 January 2019 –  The UN Guiding Principles and access to remedy
09:00   Introduction: The UN Guiding Principles and access to remedy - Antoine Duval (Asser Institute)
11:00   The (in)effectiveness of existing soft remedies: The OECD National Contact Points - Joseph Wilde and/or Marian Ingrams (OECD Watch)
12:30   Lunch
13:30   Access to remedy in practice: The business and human rights advocacy work of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights - Miriam Saage-Maaß
15:30   The future of access to remedy: Business and human rights arbitration? - Jan Eijsbouts (Maastricht University) and Judith Levine (Permanent Court of Arbitration) 

1 February 2019 – Towards a Binding Treaty: Hardening the UN Guiding Principles
09:00   Workshop with academic experts and civil society organisations on the UN negotiations for a binding treaty
12:30   Lunch
13:30   Group discussion on the binding treaty - Moderated by Antoine Duval (Asser Institute)
15:00   Closing reception 

Confirmed speakers:

Karin Buhmann is Professor of Business & Human Rights at Copenhagen Business School. She recently published ‘Changing Sustainability Norms through Communication Processes: The Emergence of the Business and Human Rights Regime as Transnational Law’ and ‘Power, Procedure, Participation and Legitimacy in Global Sustainability Norms: A Theory of Collaborative Regulation’.

Nadia Bernaz is Associate Professor at Wageningen University. She recently published ‘Business and Human Rights: History, Law and Policy‘.

Antoine Duval is a Senior Researcher at the Asser Institute, where he coordinates the Doing Business Right project.

Jan Eijsbouts is Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility at Maastricht University and the former General Counsel of Akzo Nobel. He is project leader of the Business and Human Rights International Arbitration project.

Judith Levine is Senior Legal Counsel at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. She recently published ‘Business and Human Rights: A "New Frontier" for International Arbitration?’.

Elsa Savourey is a lawyer and the firm-wide coordinator of the Global Business and Human Rights Practice of Herbert Smith Freehills. In this capacity, she advised French transnational corporations on the implementation of the recently adopted French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law.

Shamistha Selvaratnam is a junior researcher at the Asser Institute, where she contributes to the Doing Business Right project. Before that she worked as a business and human rights solicitor at Allens Linklaters in Australia where she specialised in promoting business respect for human rights through engagement with policy, law and practice. Most recently she advised various companies on the steps they need to take in order to prepare for the incoming Australian Modern Slavery Act.

Joseph Wilde-Ramsing and/or Marian Ingrams (OECD Watch) - TBC.
Joseph is Senior Researcher at SOMO and specialises in corporate accountability issues in the energy, extractives, and financial sectors. Besides, he contributes to SOMO’s work on business and human rights, including coordination of the OECD Watch network. Marian coordinates the strategic and logistical activities of the OECD Watch network, advises complaints and appeals filed through National Contact Points.

Miriam Saage-Maaß is Vice Legal Director at European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin, where she coordinates the Business and Human Rights program. She has worked on various cases against corporations, including proceedings against Lidl relating to exploitation of workers in Bangladesh and Pakistan and against companies trading in cotton picked through forced child labor in Uzbekistan.

Irina van der Sluijs is Senior Advisor Human Rights at ASN Bank. Previously she worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague and spent a year at the OECD in Paris.