Business for the Rule of Law

Summary

Challenge: provide structured feedback on the UNGC Business for the Rule of Law Framework

Outcome: the UNGC incorporated our feedback into the final version of the Framework

Description

We ran a consultation workshop as part of the UN Global Compact’s wide consultation on the Business for the Rule of Law Framework, a guidance framework for businesses on engaging responsibly and sustainably in efforts to support the rule of law, as part of their corporate social responsibilities.

The rule of law, at the national and international levels, is both a development outcome in its own right and an enabler of other outcomes.

Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General to the United Nations

The one-day workshop, taking place in Oxford, brought together members of academic, legal and NGO communities – including members of our Contributor Network - to review and discuss the Framework, and report back to the UNGC.

The participants, working in plenary and in breakout-groups, contributed in a wide range of areas, including the UK domestic context, examples of good business support for the rule of law, the business case for adhering to the Framework, and actions business might take in the areas of:

  • equality, accountability and consultation
  • fairness, independence, transparency and anti-corruption
  • access to justice
  • contract and property rights

Calls to action

Calls to action emerging from the workshop for business included:

  • Cooperate with NGOs that can help especially in HR and access to justice - overcome legacy of negative engagement between the private sector and civil society
  • Collaborate better with government on law reform and regulation, especially around IP
  • Provide more transparency around taxation arrangements
  • Tie CSR more closely into risk management functions
  • Consider developing corporate human rights policies
  • Look at the role of directors and shareholders in setting responsible business conduct