Groningen Journal of International Law

International Law Under Construction


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International Arbitration & the Remedy Gap for Victims of Business-Related Human Rights Abuses

 Prof. Katerina Yiannibas | katerina.yiannibas@deusto.es

In a legal utopia, every jurisdiction in the world could boast of efficient and affordable access to justice that would provide appropriate remedy to victims of human rights abuses. There would be equal protection and enforcement of international human rights, responsible cross-border business conduct, fair and unbiased adjudicative processes with effective assistance of counsel, and never any reprisals against victims or their defenders. Regrettably, this is not the world we live in. The contemporary legal reality instead evidences widespread legal and practical barriers to access remedy for victims of business-related human rights abuses.

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Whose Business is Hurricane Irma? Human Rights Responsibilities of Companies in Times of Disaster – Part II

By Marlies Hesselman and Lottie Lane | m.m.e.hesselman@rug.nl  c.l.lane@rug.nl

This series of two blog posts builds on two recent articles by the authors on the human rights responsibilities of private actors during disasters, including companies and NGOs (here and here – open access).

As explained in Part I, several international initiatives have led to a common understanding that private companies are subject to both indirect and direct human rights duties or responsibilities, mostly to respect human rights. It was also established that such duties or responsibilities apply during all stages of disaster management. With these findings in mind, the current post particularly reflects on recent corporate responses to hurricanes in the Atlantic region. Continue reading


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Whose Business is Hurricane Irma? Human Rights Responsibilities of Companies in Times of Disaster – Part I

By Marlies Hesselman and Lottie Lane | m.m.e.hesselman@rug.nl  c.l.lane@rug.nl

This series of two blog posts builds on two recent articles by the authors on the human rights responsibilities of private actors during disasters, including companies and NGOs (here and here – open access). The following post addresses whether private companies have human rights responsibilities during disasters, while the second post particularly reflects on recent corporate responses to hurricanes in the Atlantic region.

Boasting the severely destructive hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season revealed deep concerns about (in)adequate human rights protection in situations of natural disasters. It especially revealed the impact of natural disasters on the most vulnerable.

Premature loss of lives and limb, massive damage to homes, property and the economy, the total disruptions of lives, livelihoods, infrastructures and utilities: these matters raise important questions about the adequate protection of human rights prior, during and after disasters. Human rights at stake include the right to life, the right to food, the right to water, the right to health, the right to private and family life and protection of the home, the right to housing, the right to shelter, and the right to property. More rights may be relevant, as is detailed, for example, by the UN’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee.

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