human rights & business (and a few other things)

Bianca Jagger Speaking about Business and Human Rights at Middlesex Fairness Conference

Prof. William Schabas and Bianca Jagger

On 21, 22 and 23 May, Middlesex University is hosting a Fairness Conference, as part of our newly created Institute of Ideas.

The guest speaker on the human rights panel this morning was human rights defender Bianca Jagger, Founder and Chair of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation.  She gave an inspiring talk focusing on issues of corporate human rights responsibilities and corporate crimes, calling for stricter laws to hold companies, but also CEOs and senior management, criminally liable for the human rights consequences of their actions.

She developed an interesting legal concept, that of “crimes against present and future generations”, which she campaigns to get recognised as international crimes susceptible to attract the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and possibly other institutions as well. The concept is yet to be fully studied but the idea is that the offense would be phrased in a way that would catch conduct leading to gross environmental degradations, which impacts on future generations, as well as present victims. She gave several examples of the kind of conduct she thinks could fall in that category, such as the conduct of former CEO of Union Carbide Warren Anderson in relation to the Bhopal disaster.


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