17 Sep 2016 - by A4ID

A4ID runs training for Indian lawyers on Business and Human Rights

On 16-17 September 2016 A4ID delivered training on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to Indian commercial lawyers in partnership with Clifford Chance and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

A4ID ran two days of training for lawyers from the largest law firms in India, as well as independent practitioners and legal professors, on the relevance of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to practicing commercial lawyers in India.

The training used a combination of lectures, discussion and case studies to explore what the UNGPs are and how they are relevant to lawyers’ commercial legal practice. It also referred to relevant laws in other jurisdictions, such as the UK Modern Slavery Act, which is already having an impact on Indian businesses within the supply chains of companies operating in the UK.

Ongoing development of those who attended the training is being provided through online materials and peer-peer relationships established by A4ID between lawyers to share their experiences as they seek to implement the training and discuss emerging trends in business and human rights.

“The training is only the starting point. We are not just interested in increasing knowledge, but in changing the advice given by lawyers to clients day-to-day. This requires ongoing support and trusted relationships, and is enhanced through our extensive network of legal partners internationally,” said Elisabeth Baraka, A4ID’s Head of Partnerships and Legal Services, who manages A4ID’s work in India.

Firms that participated in the training are now working with A4ID in many different ways, for example, for A4ID to train all their lawyers on business and human rights, developing publications on how Indian laws intersect with the UK Modern Slavery Act, and providing pro bono legal advice to A4ID’s development partners.

“We partner with law firms in a holistic manner, working with them to respond to the challenges of practicing responsibly in their context,” said Elisabeth Baraka.

A4ID’s training was delivered with the pro bono involvement of Surya Deva (City University of Hong Kong and member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights), Peter King (partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges), Roger Leese (partner at Clifford Chance) and Kevin Smith (lawyer at Clifford Chance). The Programme is supported by the Clifford Chance Foundation.

For more information, please contact Elisabeth Baraka.

A4ID’s guide for the legal profession on the UNGPs can be found here.