8 May 2017

UCALL-conference on Accountability and International Business Operations

The potential adverse effects of multinational corporations’ business activities, especially on human rights, labor rights and the environment in the host country of investment, have been well documented. Over the past decade, a consensus has emerged that corporations have social and environmental responsibilities when operating transnationally. However, what is less clear is to what extent and in what way corporations can be held legally accountable for their transgressions.

Conference topics

On May 19th and 20th 2017, the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law (UCALL) will organize an international conference on “Accountability and International Business Operations: Providing Justice for Corporate Violations of Human Rights, Labor and Environmental Standards”. The speakers at this conference will inquire how regulatory tools stemming from international law, public law and private law may be used for transnational corporate accountability purposes.

Attention will be devoted to topics such as applicable standards of liability, institutional and jurisdictional issues, and practical challenges, with a focus on ways to improve the existing legal status quo. In addition, there will be consideration of the extent to which non-legal regulatory instruments may complement or provide (more viable?) alternatives to these legal mechanisms. The conference combines legal-doctrinal approaches with interdisciplinary and policy insights.


Keynote speakers include: Larry Backer (Pennsylvania State University), Karin Buhmann (Copenhagen Business School), Geert van Calster (KU Leuven), Jan Eijsbouts (formerly University of Maastricht/AKZO-Nobel), Liesbeth Enneking (Utrecht University), Judith van Erp (Utrecht University), Gilles Goedhart (Ministery of Foreign Affairs), Nicola Jägers (Tilburg University), Radu Mares (Raoul Wallenberg Institute), Martijn Scheltema (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Oliver de Schutter (KU Leuven), Michelle Jonker-Argueta (Greenpeace International), Vibe Garf Ulfbeck (University of Copenhagen), Jan van Wijngaarden (SER), and Jennifer Zerk (Jennifer Zerk Consulting).

For the complete programme and registration, please visit the conference page.