The Law Society of England and Wales recently launched a report from its practitioners’ advisory group established to consult the legal sector on issues around business and human rights. As a starting point the Law Society’s work focussed on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; widely viewed as the authoritative global reference point on the respective roles of business and governments with regard to ensuring business respect for human rights.
In line with other sectors who are increasingly developing specific guidance on the UNGPs - an approach endorsed by the UK Government’s own National Action Plan on business and human rights - the Law Society looked at how as a representative body it can best assist the profession to consider their implications both in the advice they provide, and in law firms roles as business enterprises themselves.
The Law Society’s report focussed on three areas of interest to the profession: establishing the business case, conduct and regulation, guidance, education and training. The Law Society will now look at further consultation with key sections of its membership before developing more detailed guidance around each area.