Human rights emphasises the responsibilities of business toward human rights impacts from their operations, in addition to the international law obligations on the nation state. A 2011 resolution from the UN – for a business to have a human rights policy, conduct due diligence of its operations, and remediate impacts – has been picked up by many corporations, financiers, and inter-governmental procedures.
These developments have led to various procedures and standards applying to resource operations and land use which are relevant to companies, land owners, communities and government regulators. Some of the processes only arise in particular situations, like the World Bank’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability and the private-bank analogue Equator Principles III. Others have more general application, with the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises now enabling complaints by any party in relation to the human rights impacts from resources operations of companies operating or registered in Australia, Canada, the UK, USA and many other countries.
In short, human rights now means that compliance with domestic resources law is not sufficient for any resources operation.
Members of Resources Law Network provided a submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Resources Sector Regulation. The submission identified issues regarding best-practice arrangements and urged a broadening scope of study. The full Resources Law Network...read more
International law imparts increasing significance to the concept of ‘free prior informed consent’ (FPIC) of Indigenous communities. International standards and jurisprudence emphasise that impacts on an Indigenous community should not occur without that community’s...read more
This paper outlines the current state of free prior informed consent (FPIC) at the international level, examines some common difficulties, and then describes Australian domestic law regarding these issues.read more
Article published in February 2019 in 46/1 Brief p6-11read more
Article examining the relationship between a state’s taxation of mineral revenues and human rights obligationsread more
Presentation on human rights and mining in Chileread more
Article on the regulation of company human rights statementsread more
Article summarising current human rights standards and procedures relevant to Australian commercial lawyers, both in advising their clients and also in conducting their own practiceread more