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Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin – Issue 25, January 2018

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Published on: 11 January 2018

Welcome to our Corporate Legal Accountability Quarterly Bulletin -- highlighting a specific topic each quarter, as well as key developments in corporate legal accountability. The Corporate Legal Accountability hub on our website provides objective, concise information about lawsuits against companies in which human rights abuses are alleged.

Quarterly Highlight: How courts and advocates are shaping legal doctrine on corporate liability and human rights obligations...The questions of duties and potential liabilities of corporations continue to be debated and settled in different jurisdictions, the crucial issue at heart being that victims of abuses are able to seek redress against corporations, especially in the home states of multinational companies...There have been interesting developments in various jurisdictions recently regarding civil and criminal liability for corporate involvement in human rights abuses committed abroad...The decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank will potentially have crucial implications for corporate liability when it comes to violations of international law abroad...While States are understood to be the primary duty bearers under international law, the argument that corporations should have legal obligations to respect human rights has increasingly been put forward as necessary to strengthen accountability and access to justice for corporate-related human rights abuses. Several states...have established in their Constitutions that non-state actors such as corporations bear direct human rights responsibilities.... The issues of corporate liability and obligations were discussed at the end of October 2017 during the third session of the UN intergovernmental working group (IGWG) tasked with drafting a binding treaty on human rights, transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises (OBEs). 

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