HHRJ Symposium 2014: The Future of Business and Human Rights


Can businesses protect human rights while protecting their bottom line? What enforcement mechanisms can make this vision a reality? Join advocates, attorneys, scholars, and policymakers in an exciting discussion on the way forward in this topical area of concern. The Harvard Human Rights Journal presents its 2014 Symposium: The Future of Business and Human Rights.

12:00 – 1:00 – Kick-Off Lunch Event: The Alien Tort Statute: In Pursuit of Corporate Accountability (Langdell 272)

On the one year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, counsel for petitioners, Paul Hoffman, and Professor Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School, will discuss litigation strategies for holding corporations accountable for human rights violations. Co-sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Human Rights Program. Lunch will be served.

1:20 – 2:20 – Panel 1: Treaty or Not? Enforcing the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights (Hauser 102)

Panelists: Professor Larry Catá Backer, Penn State Law;
Caroline Rees, President, SHIFT; and
Marco Simons, Legal Director, Earth Rights International

Moderator: Professor Tyler Giannini, Harvard Law School

Panelists will debate the need and desirability, if any, for a treaty to hold corporations accountable for human rights abuses.

2:30 – 3:30 – Panel 2: Friends or Foes? How Businesses Can Protect Human Rights Moving Forward (Hauser 102)

Panelists: David Deisley, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, NovaGold;
John F. Sherman III, General Counsel, Senior Adviser and Secretary, SHIFT and
Arvind Ganesan, Director, Business and Human Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

Moderator: Deval Desai, SJD Candidate, Harvard Law School

Representatives from the private sector and human rights NGOs will discuss the roles of corporations and lawyers in reaching human rights goals, including practical approaches that may be less adversarial and more dynamic than prevailing practices.

4:00 – 5:30 – Wine Reception (Wasserstein Pub)

Join our panelists for drinks, networking, and conversation.

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