Workshop examines corporate responsibility for human rights

The United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative on business and human rights has developed an approach to the question of human rights and business that rests on three pillars, one of which is the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.

On Thursday, Feb. 25, the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN) and the Jay & Barbara Hennick Centre for Business & Law will present a special workshop to examine the implications of such a responsibility on the development of external corporate regulation and on internal corporate governance structures – in particular, the notion of due diligence.

The workshop, “The Corporate Responsibility to Respect Human Rights: Implications for Corporate Regulation and Governance”, will take place tomorrow, from 11:30am to 1pm in N109 Seymour Schulich Building. It will feature a guest presentation by Peter Muchlinski (left), professor in international commerce law at the School of Oriental & African Studies at the University of London, UK.

Muchlinski specializes in international and European business law, competition law, law and development and commercial regulation, in which fields he has authored numerous papers and articles. His more recent published work concentrates on the social dimension of the regulation of international business, with emphasis on human rights and multinational enterprises and upon the impact of globalization on legal research methodology. Muchlinkski is the author of Multinational Enterprises and the Law (Oxford University Press, 2007) and is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of International Law (Oxford University Press, 2008).

Established in September 2007, the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN) at York University is a national network for business ethics research. CBERN mobilizes Canada’s rich pool of business expertise by engaging university researchers in dialogue with leaders and researchers in business, government and the voluntary sector.

The network brings together the currently fragmented ethical insights and themes in corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, corporate governance, environmental sustainability, sustainable development and triple bottom line reporting. CBERN promotes knowledge-sharing and partnerships within the field and across private, governmental, voluntary and academic sectors. CBERN also supports work from inception to dissemination, from graduate student research and fellowship opportunities to promoting the projects of established professionals.

Launched in February 2009, the Jay & Barbara Hennick Centre for Business & Law at York University is the first Canadian centre to promote and develop joint business and law scholarship and education. Made possible by a transformational gift from Jay and Barbara Hennick, the Hennick Centre is a hotbed for initiatives and programs that deliver the competencies professionals need to analyze business and legal problems in a holistic way. It is a joint initiative of Osgoode Hall Law School and the Schulich School of Business.

The centre’s flagship is the joint, four-year JD/MBA Program, founded in 1972 and the longest running such program in the country with more than 300 alumni in positions of influence around the world.

The Hennick Centre also draws together the teaching and research strengths of the Davies Fund for Business Law and other endowed chairs including the Jarislowsky Dimma Mooney Chair in Corporate Governance. The centre has launched a business certificate program for practising lawyers with Osgoode Professional Development and the Schulich Executive Education Centre. The Centre also hosts an annual lecture series and awards endowed medals to JD/MBA students and international leaders in business and law.

Registration is required for this event. To RSVP, visit the Hennick Centre events page and enter the event code CBERN.