The Open-Ended Intergovernmental Working Group (OEIGWG), established by the United Nations Human Rights Council in terms of Resolution 26/9, has published a zero-draft of the Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, In International Human Rights Law, The Activities of Transnational Corporations And Other Business Enterprises (LBI on Transnational Corporations) for consultation.
The LBI on Transnational Corporations is intended to be a victims-oriented legally binding instrument that focuses on business activities and human rights. The aim is to provide effective access to justice and remedies for victims of human rights violations in the context of business activities that have a transnational character and to prevent the occurrence or repetition of such violations.
Article 5 of the draft LBI on Transnational Corporations addresses the issue of jurisdiction. It provides that jurisdiction over actions that arise from acts or omissions resulting in violations of human rights contemplated by the LBI on Transnational Corporations vests in two possible instances: (i) the appropriate court of the state where the acts or omissions occurred; or (ii) the appropriate court of the state where the person or association alleged to have committed the acts or omissions is domiciled.
Article 8 of the draft LBI on Transnational Corporations goes on to provide for the rights of victims. It provides, amongst other things, for victims to have the right to fair, effective and prompt access to justice and remedies in accordance with international law, including restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction, guarantees of non-repetition for victims, environmental remediation, ecological restoration and replacement of community facilities. Victims are also guaranteed appropriate access to information relevant to the pursuit of remedies.
In terms of the current draft, state parties are required by article 8 to investigate all human rights violations effectively, promptly, thoroughly and impartially, and to provide proper and effective legal assistance to victims throughout the legal process. Moreover, states are required to provide effective mechanisms for the enforcement of remedies, both in respect of national and foreign judgments.
The OEIGWG has indicated that the zero-draft of the LBI on Transnational Corporations will serve as the basis for the negotiations to be conducted during the fourth session of the OEIGWG, which will be held in Geneva from 15-19 October 2018. Enquiries can be directed to [email protected].
The zero-draft of the LBI on Transnational Corporations is accessible here.
The note verbale issued to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, dated 19 July 2018, is accessible here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].