The presence of transnational corporations is felt across the global economy. The sustained research and advocacy work of non-governmental organisations, activists and lawyers have cast public attention on the involvement of transnational corporations in human rights abuses and international crimes, particularly in the Global South. Despite a growing global consensus about the need to ensure minimal labour, human rights and environmental standards for transnational corporations and their supply chains, attaining accountability for corporate human rights abuses or their complicity with military regimes, dictatorships and armed groups remains a work in progress.
This Fundamental Rights in Practice event focuses on the opportunities and challenges for holding transnational corporations accountable when they commit human rights abuses, both through litigation before courts as well as through the introduction of domestic legislative frameworks.
Panel members will share their litigation experience before national and international courts in recent and ongoing cases, including: the call upon the ICC to investigate the legal responsibility of corporate actors for alleged war crimes committed in Yemen; the lawsuit of the Mexican indigenous community, Unión Hidalgo, before French courts against the French company EDF, which is planning to build power stations on the territory of the community as well as the lawsuit of Nigerian citizens affected by oil leaks from pipelines and their associated infrastructure against companies of the Shell group before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The discussion will also centre on legislative measures states have taken and can take in the future to prevent transnational corporations’ involvement in human rights abuses and to hold them to account.
This event is hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School in collaboration with the Hertie School’s London Alumni Chapter and in association with the Interest Group on International Human Rights Law of the European Society of International Law.
Başak Çalı is Professor of International Law at the Hertie School and Co-Director of the School's Centre for Fundamental Rights. She is the Chair of European Implementation Network and a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre of the University of Essex. Çalı has acted as a Council of Europe expert on the European Convention on Human Rights since 2002.
Anna Hoffmann graduated from the Hertie MPP programme in 2015. She is currently a barrister (litigation lawyer) in the UK focusing on the intersection of business and human rights. She teaches advocacy at the Inns of Court in London and has remained involved with the Hertie moot court team, having been a member of the first team Hertie sent to the Jessup competition.
Cannelle Lavite is a legal advisor at the ECCHR’s Business and Human Rights Programme. She studied law at the Université de Toulouse in France and was awarded a Master of Law with a specialization in corporate governance and criminal law from the Université de Montréal, Canada, and the Université de Lyon, France. Cannelle has worked for several local organizations in Brazil and Mongolia focusing on socio-economic rights as well as at Human Rights Watch on the trial of Hissène Habré.
Pierre Thielbörger is Professor of German Public Law and International Law, with a focus on International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict, at the Ruhr University Bochum. He is also Executive Director of the Institute for the International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict in Bochum. He is Chairman of the General Assembly of the Europe-wide "Network on Humanitarian Action" (NOHA) as well as the co-convener of the interest group on human rights at the European Society of International Law (ESIL).
Alexandra Lily Kather LL.M., is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Fundamental Rights 2020-2021. She is a legal consultant in international criminal justice, transitional justice and human rights with expertise in investigation, capacity-building, policy-oriented research and advocacy.
This event is hosted by the Centre for Fundamental Rights at the Hertie School in collaboration with Hertie School’s London Alumni Chapter and in association with the Interest Group on International Human Rights Law of the European Society of International Law.
Prior registration is required. Registered attendees will receive the dial-in details via e-mail prior to the event.