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Human rights responsibilities in the oil and gas sector: applying the UN guiding principles

Lindsay, Rae, McCorquodale, Robert, Blecher, Lara, Bonnitcha, Jonathan M., Crockett, Antony and Sheppard, Audley (2013) Human rights responsibilities in the oil and gas sector: applying the UN guiding principles. Journal of World Energy Law and Business, 6 (1). pp. 2-66. ISSN 1754-9957

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jwelb/jws033


The Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were endorsed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2011 and are now an international standard in this area. This article explores the implications of the Guiding Principles for business enterprises operating in the oil and gas sector where there are human rights impacts of their operations. It considers the responsibility to respect human rights by these business enterprises, including in relation to remedies for victims, and the actions that should be taken by responsible and prudent business enterprises to implement the Guiding Principles. Close consideration of the duty of due diligence is undertaken, which is a broad responsibility on business enterprises to identify their actual and potential human rights impacts (including by third parties) and then to address them through policies, practices and mechanisms. This position is considered in light of surveys and interviews of existing practices in the oil and gas sector. The consequences of this responsibility under the Guiding Principles are also examined through consideration of contractual issues, where a business enterprise s leverage is of relevance, and analysis of the many legal risks that might arise. While the Guiding Principles do not, of themselves, create new law, it is evident that there are many legal issues that do arise, and are likely to do so at an increasing rate, and that all parts of a business enterprise are affected. This article offers constructive and practical legal guidance to some of the challenges and complexities that those in the oil and gas sector will face in their efforts to discharge their responsibility to respect human rights.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2013 10:14
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:36

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