News & Views

Law Council of Australia releases paper on Business and Human Rights and the Legal Profession

The Law Council of Australia has released a background paper on business and human rights and the issue’s relevance to the Australian legal profession. In publishing the background paper, the Law Council has acknowledged the critical role of industry associations in taking a leadership role in raising awareness, and increasing compliance with, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).

The background paper summarises the development of the UNGPs as well as international and national efforts to implement the UNGPs across the legal profession. The background paper also describes the particular benefits for lawyers and law firms in the UNGPs, including providing a framework to conduct effective due diligence and as a mechanism to promote and preserve corporate reputation and to attract and retain talented staff.

The LCA’s background paper, and recognition of the key role of lawyers in relation to business and human rights, complements the UN Global Compact’s Guide for General Counsel on Corporate Sustainability.

Vanessa Zimmerman, Director, GCNA and Chair, GCNA Human Rights Leadership Group and Alice Cope, Executive Manager, GCNA both sit on the Law Council of Australia’s Business and Human Rights Advisory Committee.