CEDR Business and Human Rights Mediation initiative

Disputes about the human rights impacts of businesses around the world are increasingly being discussed in boardrooms, in law courts and in the media.

CEDR is working with a number of stakeholders including leading law firms, companies and NGOs to establish a mediation facility to support the effective resolution of disputes in the business and human rights arena. Access to remedy for business and human rights impacts is a key concern for affected stakeholders. It is also a key risk for businesses, investors and other corporate stakeholders and can lead to significant financial, reputational and legal consequences.

As one of the projects in this programme, CEDR and DLA Piper are currently conducting a survey to identify what tools and documentation are required to enhance the use of mediation for business and human rights disputes, for example, industry and court protocols, incorporation of mediation into grievance mechanisms and whistle-blower procedures, mediation rules and guidelines, contract clauses for triggering mediation, including expanding supplier contract clauses to include mediation as an explicit route for dispute resolution and training for mediators. The aim of this consultation is to find out more about, for example:

  • the resources and the scale of activities behind their schemes:
  • if applicable, how they are promoted and the volume of their work;
  • the costs and the perceived benefits involved;
  • what the perceived obstacles are to their use; and
  • who within the organisations oversees them.

If you are one of the stakeholders listed above wish to take part in the survey, please click on the link below.

Business and Human Rights DLA Piper Consultation survey (external link)

Use of mediation in this context

Mediation is an effective means of providing resolution of business and human rights disputes because of its inherent flexibility and responsiveness. This also means that it is well suited to ensure respect for human rights not just in the substance of the resolution but in the process by which disputes are resolved.

"CEDR, with its extensive experience of mediating legal disputes over some 30 years, has been working with key stakeholders for the last year in order to fashion an effective mediation project which will strengthen awareness and use of the ADR remedies and options available for business and human rights issues."

- Dr Karl Mackie CBE

The aim of the survey is to find out more about, for example

  • the resources and the scale of activities behind current mediation schemes:
  • if applicable, how they are promoted and the volume of their work;
  • the costs and the perceived benefits involved;
  • what the perceived obstacles are to their use; and
  • who within the organisations oversees them.

We are inviting stakeholders to participate in the consultation by completing any of three questionnaires focused on different types of complaint processes:

  1. Administration of a mechanism to receive/address complaints relating to external/stakeholder impacts;
  2. Administration of a mechanism to receive/address complaints relating to internal/organisational issues; and
  3. Participation in external grievance processes relating to business and human rights disputes.
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