International Conference at NUI Galway to Explore Human Rights Responsibilities of Irish Business

Mar 22 2017 Posted: 12:22 GMT

What happens if an Irish company becomes implicated in human rights violations when doing business overseas? International and Irish experts will convene at NUI Galway on Friday, 24 March to examine questions of responsibility and legal liability for Irish companies that may become complicit in violations of human rights when operating outside of Ireland.

Convened by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the one-day conference, entitled ‘Exploring litigation as a business and human rights remedy’, will examine the opportunities, challenges and barriers to pursuing cases in Irish courts against companies implicated in human rights abuses.

“Access to remedy for victims of human rights violation involving business is critical”, according to Dr Shane Darcy of NUI Galway, who notes that “the Irish government has committed itself to reviewing how best to ensure such access as part of its national action plan implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights.”

The conference will bring together United Nations experts, legal practitioners, academics and advocates to explore civil litigation for serious human rights harms in the Irish context. The experience of other jurisdictions will also be discussed, including the United States and the United Kingdom, where recent litigation has lead to notable settlements for victims of corporate human rights harms.

Speakers at the conference will also address the feasibility of similar litigation in Ireland, with particular attention being given to the legal and practical barriers which may prevent remedies for business-related human rights violations.


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