skip to content

Events for...

Friday, 6 December 2019 - 2.00pm
Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, Finley Library

Time: 2.00 pm - 3.30 pm

Join us for a panel discussion on contemporary developments and future prospects in business and human rights litigation involving transnational corporations.

The expert panellists will discuss recent developments in UK courts, including legal and policy implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in Vedanta Resources (which paved the way for Zambian citizens to bring tort claims in English courts against UK-based Vedanta Resources) and the forthcoming Supreme Court appeal involving claims against Royal Dutch Petroleum in respect of environmental harm alleged to have been caused by its Nigerian subsidiary.

The discussion will involve comparative and practical perspectives and will examine the broader policy and normative concerns arising from business and human rights litigation for the responsibility of non-state actors, transnational corporate governance and international law more generally.


Richard Hermer QC, Barrister, Matrix Chambers and counsel for the Respondents in the Vedanta Resources case before the UK Supreme Court

Richard Hermer QC’s practice spans public and private law litigation within both the domestic and international spheres.  He has been instructed in many of the most high-profile cases heard by the English Courts over the past decade.  He was called to the Bar in 1993 and took silk in 2009.  He is recognised in the major legal directories as a leading practitioner in all his practice areas. Richard’s public international law cases include Al Jedda v Secretary of State for Defence, Jones v Saudi Arabia, Reyes v Al Maliki, Al Skeini v Secretary of State for Defence, Al Waheed v Secretary of State for Defence and Serdar Mohammed v Secretary of State for Defence. Richard was counsel for the Respondents in Vedanta Resources before the UK Supreme Court, and Okpabi v Royal Dutch Shell and AAA v Unilever before the Court of Appeal. He also represented the claimants in the ‘Trafigura Litigation’, one of the largest group actions in ever brought in England and in Bodo Community v Shell, a £55million settlement for environmental damage caused by pollution in the Niger Delta.

Further information:


Julianne Hughes-Jennett, Partner, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Julianne Hughes-Jennett is a partner in Quinn Emanuel's London office and a leading expert in the field of Business and Human Rights. Before joining the firm, Julianne was the head of the Hogan Lovells' Business and Human Rights Group and a member of the firm's, International Arbitration and Class Actions and Group Litigation Groups. Julianne is a solicitor advocate with full rights of audience for civil matters at all levels of the English Courts. She is recognized by Chambers and Partners Global as a "passionate and driven practitioner" known for her "great deal of work in dispute resolution and human rights due diligence".

Further information:


Dr Axel Marx, University of Leuven, Deputy Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies

Founded in 2007, the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies is an interdisciplinary research centre of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the KU Leuven (University of Leuven).  Axel has been involved as a research manager and senior researcher since its foundation. It was set up to promote, support and carry out high-quality international, innovative and interdisciplinary research on global governance. In addition to its fundamental research activities the Centre carries out independent applied research and offers innovative policy advice and solutions to policymakers on multilateral governance and global public policy issues. Since 2010, the Centre has been recognized as a KU Leuven Centre of Excellence and since 2016 as a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence. Axel was one of the principal authors of the Report Access to Legal Remedies for Victims of Corporate Human Rights Abuses in Third Countries (2019) produced for the European Parliament and requested by the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights.

Further information:


Dr Tara Van Ho, University of Essex, Lecturer and Leader of the Business and Human Rights Project at Essex, and Co-President of the Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association

Tara joined the School of Law and Human Rights Centre in January 2018. Her main research interests are business and human rights, investment law and human rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and transitional justice. She is the co-President of the Global Business and Human Rights Scholars Association and sits on the Editorial Board of the Business and Human Rights Journal. She is one of the leaders of the Essex Business and Human Rights Project, through which she advises states, intergovernmental organisations, non-governmental organisations, and businesses on issues of business and human rights.

Further information:

This event will be chaired by Dr Andrew Sanger, University Lecturer and Centre Fellow.

Lauterpacht Linked is a partnership programme of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law which creates and consolidates strong relationships between a select group of law firms, corporations, foreign ministries and the Centre. 


An audio recording of this lecture is available on the University's Streaming Media Service

A list of all recorded events and lectures at the Lauterpacht Centre can be viewed in on this website in Media/Audio recordings.


Lauterpacht Centre for International Law