Call for papers – “Business and Human Rights: International Law and …” – Deadline 31 May 2014

The European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on Business and Human Rights is calling for papers in view of its 3rd Research Workshop at the 10th ESIL Anniversary Conference, to be held in Vienna, Austria, on 3 September 2014.

Following the overarching theme of the Research Forum, “International Law and …: Boundaries of International Law and Bridges to Other Fields and Disciplines”, we invite papers addressing the interplay between international law and other fields of law or other disciplines from the perspective of business and human rights. Papers may consider (but are not limited to) the following perspectives:

  • Public law (including constitutional and administrative law)
  • Private law (including company, labour and competition law)
  • Research methodologies
  • Religion
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Arts (including literature, aesthetics and film)
  • Feminism
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Sports
  • Linguistics

Please submit a 500 words abstract proposal via email to Damiano de Felice ( by 31 May 2014.

Successful applicants will be informed by 15 June 2014.

The deadline for the submission of final papers is 15 August 2014.

In addition to the abstract, the following information must be provided on the submission:

  • The author’s name and affiliation
  • The author’s CV, including a list of relevant publications
  • The author’s contact details
  • Whether the author is an ESIL member

For the sake of blind peer-reviewing, candidates are requested to include their name and affiliation in the email, but NOT in the abstract itself.

Papers will be selected by the co-chairs of the Interest Group (Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega, Mr. Damiano de Felice and Dr. Freya Baetens) on the basis of abstracts submitted. Selection criteria are: originality of the work, links to the panel theme, and geographical representation of the speakers. Only one abstract per author will be considered.

The  purpose  of  the  panel  is  to  share  cutting-edge  research  in  specific  areas  of international law, to stimulate debate, and to foster contacts between participants. At the moment of presentation, papers should be unpublished and in an advanced stage of completion. Publication in a book or a special issue of a journal will be considered.

In order to participate in the Interest Group panel, speakers must be members of ESIL. The membership can be formalised once abstracts have been accepted.

Unfortunately, the ESIL Interest Group on Business and Human Rights is not in a position to cover expenses for travelling and accommodation, or to waiver the ESIL conference fee.

Information on the 10th ESIL Anniversary Conference is available here:

A PDF version of the call for papers can be downloaded here.

2nd Research Workshop: Business and Human Rights. From Theory to Practice

The ESIL Interest Group on Business and Human Rights will hold its 2nd Research Workshop in Amsterdam in the framework of the ESIL Research Forum. We would like to invite all our members to join us there!

European Society of International Law Interest Group on

Business and Human Rights

 2nd Research Workshop:


Amsterdam, 23rd May 2013 (13:00-16:00)

VENUE: Oudemanhuispoort 4 (main building of the Faculty of Law), University of Amsterdam Room: D118A. Directions here.  

Welcome and IG update: Olga Martin-Ortega

Panel 1: Implementation and Compliance

Chair: Freya Baetens

Nadia Bernaz, “Addressing Slave Labour in Supply Chains through Reporting“

 Karin Buhmann, ““Responsible sourcing of natural resources: Enriching EU environmental and trade policies and law through the UN Framework and UN Guiding Principles“

Karen Weidmann, “Monitoring Business Compliance with Human Rights Standards: The Role of the
National Contact Points for the OECD-Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises“

Carmen Marquez Carrasco, Luis Rodríguez Piñero and Laura Iñígo Alvarez, “The implementation of the UN Guiding Principles in Spain”



Panel 2: Accountability and Enforcement  

Chair: Olga Martin-Ortega

Angelica Bonfanti, “Extraterritorial Jurisdiction as a Remedy for Victims of Business-related Human Rights Abuses: European and US Perspectives“

Shannon Dobson, “Corporate Liability in the United States: The Kiobel Case in International Perspective”

Julieanne Hughes-Jennett, “Is litigation before national courts the best response to purported human rights violations involving multinational corporations in developing countries?” 

Alessandro Costa, Antonella Sarro, Marta Bordignon, Bandini Chhichhia and Giada Lepore, “Accountability of Banks for Human Rights Violations”


Next steps and activities: Freya Baetens

Business and Human Rights: From Theory to Practice- Call for Papers- Deadline 15 April

The European Society of International Law (ESIL) Interest Group on Business and Human Rights is calling for papers for its panel on 23 May 2013 at the 5th ESIL Research Forum, Amsterdam. Following the overarching theme of the Research Forum, International Law as a Profession, we invite papers addressing contemporary issues in the field of business and human rights which consider practical challenges in this context. Papers may consider (but are not limited to) the following perspectives:

-              Advocacy: how can the business and human rights agenda be promoted through lobbying for or against regulation? How does the process of evidence gathering with regard to the lack of corporate compliance with human rights take place? How do practitioners engage with state and non-state actors to move the agenda forward?

-              Litigation: how may practitioners take a corporation to court? What are the legal and procedural obstacles in different jurisdictions? What is the future of US litigation after Kiobel? What are the European alternatives?

-              Policy and law making: how may international rules in this context be drafted and passed through national and international institutions? Papers considering this dimension may specifically refer to the national implementation and action plans and processes for the Ruggie framework which are currently taking place in various countries.

Please submit a 300 words abstract proposal (Word or pdf format) via email to Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega ( by 15 April 2013. Candidates are requested to include their name and affiliation in the email but not in the abstract itself.

In order to participate in the Interest Group panel speakers need to be members of ESIL. The membership can be formalised once their abstract has been accepted.

Information on the 5th ESIL Research Forum is available here:

New Board for the IG Business and Human Rights

Following our Valencia meeting in September 2012 the IG Business and Human Rights held elections for the renewal of its board. The members of the group elected Olga Martin-Ortega, Freya Baetens, Sorcha MacLeod and Damiano Felice to coordinate the activities of the group for the next two years. We are very grateful to our colleagues for their trust and we hope to lead the group into a dynamic and exciting new phase in this time. We look forward to working together and meeting all our members in the forthcoming meeting in Amsterdam in May 2013!

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre- Internships and job vacancies

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is currently recruiting for the following positions in London and abroad: 

At the London headquarters (application deadline: 18 October):

At least one Research Intern with fluent Spanish, one Research Intern with fluent French, and one other Research Intern.

At least one Legal Research Intern.

Note: The minimum internship period is 4 months full-time or 8 months half-time.

Based in Asia (application deadline: 22 October):

Asia & Pacific Regional Director (28 to 35 hours per week) based in one of the following cities, depending on where the successful applicant is based:Bangkok, Delhi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Singapore.

Southeast Asia Researcher & Representative based in Bangkok, a half-time post (17.5 hours per week).

Note: applicants must already have the right to work in the relevant country.

For all the information relating the application procedure please visit:

Climate Change Governance Conference- London

The Climate Change Governance Conference will take place in London on November, 2. Increasingly both environmental and human rights lawyers are noting the impacts that climate change is having on basic human rights such as the right to life and the right to health. Additionally climate change is already affecting indigenous peoples and vulnerable communities which lead to impacts on their rights to property, culture and of course the rights to food and water. Therefore whilst climate change law has traditionally been regarded as “environmental law”, its adequacy or inadequacy has ultimately to be regarded as a fundamental human rights issue. This conference focuses on some of the key issues that lie at the nexus between business and investment and climate change.

The Conference is being held at Schroders plc (31 Gresham Street EC2V 7QA, London). There are four panels throughout the day  which will cover a number of specific areas. These are:

1. Introduction / Pensions and Climate Change

2. Climate Change litigation

3. Climate Change and Forestry

4. Future Directions.

 The Conference features a diverse range of speakers with specific experience and expertise in those areas.

The link to the conference website with all the details and the registration form is at:

ATS Suit Dismissed

On September 4, Judge Naomi Buchwald of the Southern District of New York dismissed an Alien Tort Statute suit against President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, on the basis of a Suggestion of Immunity filed by the Justice Department, at the request of the State Department Legal Adviser.  Under customary international law and longstanding U.S. practice, sitting heads of state or government are considered to have immunity from civil suits in U.S. courts.

Judge Buchwald’s decision is also notable for her rejection of the plaintiff’s argument that head of state immunity should not shield officials accused of jus cogens violations.

Source: J. B. Bellinger,  Lawfare blog (click to see the whole post and for a link to the decision)