UCL Faculty of Laws


Key developments in business and human rights

21 June 2017, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Business and Human Rights

Event Information

Open to



Dr Barnali Choudhury, UCL Laws


UCL Gavin de Beer Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building, Gower Street


  • Professor Surya Deva, City University of Hong Kong and Member, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
  • Professor Robert McCorquodale, University of Nottigham and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  • Professor M Sornarajah, National University of Singapore

Chaired by Dr Barnali Choudhury, UCL Laws

About the talk

Are we doing enough to address the growing problem of business and human rights conflicts? This seminar will draw from business and human rights experts from different areas who will present creative – and sometimes controversial – solutions to the business and human rights conundrum.

The speakers will argue why a business and human rights treaty is needed, what the content of that treaty should entail, and why addressing business and human rights problems should focus on the needs of rights-holders rather than what is politically feasible.  They will also examine what role rules of foreign investment can play in curbing business and human rights problems and the importance of human rights due diligence as a business and human rights tool for corporations.

A drinks reception will follow.

About the Speakers

Surya Deva is an Associate Professor at the School of Law of City University of Hong Kong, and a Member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. He has published extensively and has advised the UN/EU bodies, states, multinational corporations and civil society organisations on matters related to business and human rights. His books include Building a Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Context and Contours (co-editor with David Bilchitz) (CUP, forthcoming in 2017); Socio-Economic Rights in Emerging Free Markets: Comparative Insights from India and China (editor) (Routledge, 2015); Human Rights Obligations of Business: Beyond the Corporate Responsibility to Respect?(co-editor with David Bilchitz) (CUP, 2013); Confronting Capital Punishment in Asia: Human Rights, Politics, Public Opinion and Practices (co-editor with Roger Hood) (OUP, 2013); and Regulating Corporate Human Rights Violations: Humanizing Business (Routledge, 2012). Professor Deva has also prepared reports for the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). He is one of the founding Editors-in-Chief of the Business and Human Rights Journal (CUP), and sits on the Editorial/Advisory Board of the Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, and the Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law. In 2014, Professor Deva was elected a Member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Constitutional Law.

Professor Robert McCorquodale is the Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London. He is also Professor of International Law and Human Rights, and former Head of the School of Law, at the University of Nottingham, and a barrister at Brick Court Chambers in London. Previously he was a Fellow and Lecturer in Law at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge and at the Australian National University in Canberra. Before embarking on an academic career, he worked as a solicitor in commercial litigation with King & Wood Mallesons in Sydney and Herbert Smith Freehills in London. Professor McCorquodale’s research and teaching interests are in the areas of public international law and human rights law, including the role of non-state actors, and business and human rights issues. He has published widely on these areas. He has provided advice and training to governments, corporations, international organisations, non-governmental organisations and peoples concerning international law and human rights issues. He is a co-author of the report on Human Rights Due Diligence in Law and Practice (http://www.biicl.org/duediligence).

M Sornarajah is the CJ Koh Professor at the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore. He is the author of The Pursuit of Nationalized Property(Martinus Nijhoff, 1986); International Commercial Arbitration (Longman, 1992); The Law of International Joint Ventures (Longman, 1994); The International Law on Foreign Investment (Cambridge University Press, 1996, 2nd ed., 2004, 3rd ed. 2010), The Settlement of Foreign Investment Disputes (Kluwer, 2001) and Resistance and Change in the International Law on Foreign Investment(Cambridge University Press, 2015). He is also the joint editor of China, India and the International Economic Law (CUP, 2010) and of Good Faith in International Investment Law (OUP, 2015). His work with Margot Salomon and John Linarelli, Global Justice and World Order is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Previously he was the Director of the UNCTAD/WTO Programme on Investment Treaties, Pretoria and New Delhi.