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Martyn Day consulted by UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights

Martyn Day returns from trip advising on how businesses should consider human rights

Posted on 15 September 2010

Martyn Day, Leigh Day's senior partner, returned today from Boston after assisting John Ruggie the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights in his deliberations.

Mr Ruggie, a Harvard Business Professor, is nearing the end of his mandate to provide a blueprint as to how businesses should behave in relation to the human rights of the communities that their operations affect. He has been looking to build on the UN Framework which is based on the state duty to protect citizens against human rights abuses; corporate responsibility to respect human rights and greater access for victims to obtain effective remedies when their rights have been abused.

Mr Ruggie is due to provide the UN Human Rights Council with his blueprint in June 2011 for the practical ways in which states, businesses and others can achieve these crucial goals.

John Ruggie invited Martyn and another dozen academic and practising lawyers from Singapore, South Africa, Mexico, Germany, France, the US, Australia, Netherlands as well as the UK to assist him in deciding on his plan for action regarding the issue of extra-territoriality - the extent to which states should control the operations of its businesses outside its own jurisdiction.

Martyn Day and the firm's international team have been working on cases involving these issues for years, hence Day's invitation to the meeting at Harvard in Cambridge Massachussettes.

Martyn Day said today:

"The trip to Harvard was literally a flying visit - I was in and out of Boston in less than 24 hours - but the meeting was excellent and I hope the discussions that took place over the day will have helped John determine a way ahead for this thorny issue. Controlling the operations of multi nationals who work in many countries is far from straightforward but we know from the work we do how essential this is."

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