Discussion: Mobilizing Lawyers to Advance the UN Guiding Principles: Legal Minefield or Principled Practice?

Geneva, 3 December 2013 — As part of the UN Forum on Business & Human Rights chaired by Pak Makarim Wibisono in Geneva this week, the HRRC’s Michelle Staggs Kelsall joined a panel of distinguished experts to participate in the American Bar Association’s roundtable, inviting both regional and global perspectives on mobilizing lawyers to advance the Business & Human Rights framework. She was joined by Mark Ellis of the International Bar Association, Julie Vallat, President of the Business & Human Rights Commission of the Union Internationale des Avocats, John Sherman of SHIFT, and Joseph Kibugu of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, amongst others, in the discussion.

Staggs Kelsall highlighted the fact that lawyers and legal academics in ASEAN remain amongst the key players attempting to bring about a paradigm shift in the conduct of business.

She further noted that the ongoing challenge for civil society lawyers was to communicate the central message of the UN Guiding Principles in a manner that turns business’ risk-aversion into concrete action; that moves civil society’s calls from the mode of naming and blaming, to knowing and showing; and that provides for actual remedies for victims of abuses, wherever and whenever they occur.

For a copy of her full statement click here.