HRDD Forum: The interaction between investment disputes and human rights due diligence

Activity: Public engagement and outreachWorkshop and other training


This is a a closed meeting, open only to members of the Human Rights Due Diligence Forum (HRDD).

Professor Yarik Kryvoi, Director of the BIICL Investment Treaty Forum
Suzanne Spears, Allen & Overy
Dr Daniel Aguirre, Senior Lecturer in Law, Roehampton University

Event Details

Following recent regulatory decisions aimed at reaching climate change targets, states such as the Netherlands, Germany and the EU are facing investment disputes by companies which claim that their investments are being affected.

Meanwhile, there is a growing trend in various jurisdictions of laws, regulatory proposals and campaigns for mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation. Such laws require, or would require, companies to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for how they address their human rights and environmental impacts, which is increasingly understood to include climate impacts.

In the first session of the Human Rights Due Diligence Forum, we will explore the interaction between these two areas of law:

Could mandatory human rights due diligence laws potentially be challenged in investment disputes?
Will a corporate duty to undertake due diligence affect a company's ability to bring such investment actions? For example, could a company be required to demonstrate that it has undertaken such due diligence before it may avail itself of investment treaty provisions?
Could a legal duty to undertake due diligence even preclude a company from bringing such an investment dispute? For example, could the investment claim in itself be construed as an admission that the company does not intend to undertake human rights due diligence?
We will also consider whether these two areas of law can be reconciled or whether they will continue to operate in silos, whether this would lead to internal tension within a company, and how a legal adviser could provide a coherent approach.

Estimated audience numbers (if applicable)

Period4 Dec 2019
Held atBritish Institute of International and Comparative Law , United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Human Rights
  • Investment
  • Arbitration
  • Business and Society