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Webinar Series: Corporate Due Diligence and Civil Liability

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This event is organized by the NOVA Centre for Business, Human Rights and the Environment.

About this Event

With the support of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Nova Centre on Business, Human Rights and the Environment (NOVA BHRE) is organizing, in partnership with the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, the Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum, and NOVA 4 The Globe, a webinar series gathering experts from different fields and representing various groups of stakeholders to discuss key issues pertaining to Business, Human Rights and the Environment.

The field of Business and Human Rights has attracted growing attention in recent years as many cases have sadly illustrated that companies can cause, contribute or be directly linked to human rights and environmental harms, both in their own operations and in their value chains worldwide. From issues of child labour, forced labour, poor and unsafe working conditions, to environmental damage and the climate-related impact of corporate activities, all sectors are concerned and all internationally recognised human rights can potentially be affected by corporate activities.

Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has shone light on the difficulties arising out of unregulated global supply chains and raised questions in terms of the human rights compatibility of business responses to the crisis.

Against this backdrop, important legislative developments are taking place at the domestic, European and international level seeking to mandate companies to take steps in order to ensure that human rights, decent work and environmental standards are upheld in their operations and in global value chains, thereby also advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The overall aim of the webinar series is to 'connect the dots' between corporate due diligence and issues such as civil liability, private international law, contract and company law, the green deal, sustainable finance, and gender equality.

This first episode of the series will analyse the relationship between Corporate Due Diligence and Civil Liability in light of the legislative developments at the European level.

Chair: Claire Bright (Nova School of Law)

Keynote speech: John Ruggie (Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and former UN Special Representative on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises)

Speakers:

  • Nicolas Bueno (University of Zurich)
  • Lise Smit (British Institute of International and Comparative Law)
  • Christian Dargham and Solène Sfoggia (Norton Rose Fulbright)
  • Freya Dinshaw (Human Rights Law Centre)
  • Filip Gregor (Frank Bold)

Comments from multi-stakeholders:

  • Lucie Chatelain (Sherpa)
  • Christian Ewert (President of Amfori)
  • Christopher Patz (ECCJ)
  • Isabelle Schömann (European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC))

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