Biography

Dr Ekaterina Aristova is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Human Rights and Practice at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. Her main research interests are in the field of business and human rights. Ekaterina serves as a co-convenor of Oxford Business and Human Rights Research Network. She completed PhD at the University of Cambridge on the access to justice for victims of business-related human rights violations in the UK. She also holds law degrees from the Perm State University and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. In the last few years, Ekaterina served as a consultant on several research projects that have sought to strengthen corporate accountability for human rights violations, including for the United Nations. Prior to commencing her academic career, Ekaterina practiced corporate law specialising on all aspects of M&A transactions. She completed a training contract in White & Case’s Moscow office before spending seven years as a senior in-house lawyer at two leading Russian investment companies.

You can follow Ekaterina on Twitter.

RESEARCH

Ekaterina’s research focuses on the evolving field of business and human rights. She looks at how corporations can be held accountable for the negative impacts of their business operations using international, domestic and transnational legal instruments.  

Ekaterina is the author of Liability of Transnational Corporations: Theory and Practice, the first Russian book to analyse various problems surrounding corporate accountability for human rights violations. This project involved a comparative survey of legal regimes in a number of jurisdictions (Australia, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) identifying how corporate and tort law doctrines (piercing the corporate veil, enterprise liability and duty of care) can be utilised to frame the civil liability of parent companies for human rights violations arising from the operations of their subsidiaries.

Ekaterina’s PhD thesis looked at the emerging trend of private negligence claims brought against parent companies in the courts of Western states alleging liability in tort for human rights violations caused by overseas subsidiaries, contractors and suppliers. In particular, she considered how the tort law doctrine of the duty of care has been used creatively by claimants and their lawyers to impose direct liability on English-domiciled parent companies for damages sustained by individuals and local communities from the operations of foreign subsidiaries abroad (e.g. Lungowe v Vedanta Resources, Okpabi v Shell, AAA v Unilever). She argued that it is normatively appropriate for the English courts to assert jurisdiction over English-domiciled parent companies and their foreign subsidiaries as co-defendants where the subsidiaries’ operations have had negative human rights impacts overseas. In addition, she suggested proposals for how the law and practice of English courts on the issue of jurisdiction for tort litigation against transnational corporations can be further improved.

Ekaterina’s current work at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights is on the limits of civil liability of state and non-state actors for human rights violations and the legislative trend towards mandatory human rights due diligence.

Publications

Recent additions

Internet Publication (11)

Edited Book (1)

Ekaterina Aristova and Uglješa Grušić (eds), Civil Remedies and Human Rights in Flux: Key Legal Developments in Selected Jurisdictions (Hart Publishing 2021) (forthcoming)

Chapter (1)

Ekaterina Aristova, 'Russian Federation' in Liora Lazarus, Christos Kypraios, Danilo B. Garrido Alves (ed), A Preliminary Human Rights Assessment of Legislative and Regulatory Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic across 27 Jurisdictions, Bonavero Report 7/2020 (Bonavero Institute of Human Rights 2020)

Journal Article (6)

Ekaterina Aristova, 'Tort Litigation against Transnational Corporations in England' (2017) 5 Tijdschrift voor Compliance 269
Ekaterina Aristova, 'Piercing the Corporate Veil in USA and UK [Russian Language]' (2013) 1 Russian Justice 50
В статье анализируется доктрина проникновения за корпоративный иммунитет в судебной практике США и Великобритании. На основе изученных судебных решений автор выделяет критерии, при которых в исключительных случаях возможно привлечение акционеров (участников) к гражданско-правовой ответственности за действия дочерних компаний. В завершение анализа сделаны выводы о возможности применения доктрины к трансграничным корпоративным группам.
Ekaterina Aristova, 'Accountability of Transnational Corporations for Human Rights Violations under Public International Law [Russian Language]' (2012) 4 Reporter of Perm State University. Legal Science. 210
Анализируется проблема регулирования ответственности трансграничных корпоративных групп за нарушения прав и свобод человека и гражданина нормами международного публичного права. Рассматривается возможность применения международных договоров к негосударственным субъектам права, концепция норм jus cogens и распространение ее действия на юридических лиц, а также урегулирование деятельности корпораций посредством кодексов поведения, разработанных межправительственными организациями.
Ekaterina Aristova, 'Application of the Control Theory to the Determination of the Nationality of the Foreign Investor [Russian Language]' (2012) 11 Russian Justice 46
Автор анализирует практику Международного центра по урегулированию инвестиционных споров по использованию критерия контроля для определения национальности иностранного инвестора для целей применения Вашингтонской конвенции от 18 марта 1965 г.

Case Note (1)

Book (1)

Ekaterina Aristova, Liability of Transnational Corporations: Theory and Practice [Russian language] (Infotropic 2014)
В книге впервые в отечественной юридической литературе комплексно рассмотрены теоретические и прикладные аспекты ответственности трансграничных корпоративных групп. Наряду с разработкой научной категории «трансграничная корпоративная группа» и формулированием теоретических положений института ответственности трансграничных корпоративных групп автор уделяет большое внимание анализу основных моделей привлечения головной корпорации к ответственности, практике их применения в правовых системах общего и континентального права, преимуществам и недостаткам каждой из моделей с точки зрения практикующих юристов. Помимо уже известной доктрины проникновения за корпоративный иммунитет (piercing the corporate veil) в книге также исследуется большой объем нормативно-правовых актов и судебной практики о привлечении трансграничных корпоративных групп к ответственности и по другим основаниям (доктрина единого предприятия и доктрина должной заботливости). Некоторые судебные прецеденты анализируются впервые.

Events organised by Ekaterina Aristova

Past events

19 Feb 2021

Friday - 10:00AM

On Emissaries and Control: Corporate accountability in the aftermath of the Shell litigation in the UK and the Netherlands

Speaker

Dr Ekaterina Aristova; Gabrielle Holly; Dr Lucas Roorda; Dr Tara Van Ho; Dr Anil Yilmaz

Speaker Affiliation

University of Oxford; The Danish Institute for Human Rights; Utrecht University; University of Essex; University of Essex

Venue

Zoom Webinar

14 Dec 2020

Monday - 12:30PM

Could a New UK Regulatory Body Monitor and Enforce Companies’ Compliance with Human Rights Due Diligence Laws?

Bonavero Collaborative Seminars – Oxford Business and Human Rights Network

Speaker

Fiona Gooch; Dr Rachel Chambers; Sophie Kemp

Speaker Affiliation

Traidcraft Exchange; University of Connecticut; Kingsley Napley LLP

Venue

Zoom Webinar

02 Dec 2020

Wednesday - 12:30PM

Can Corporate Law Advance Fundamental Rights?

Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Networks Seminar Series

Speaker

David Bilchitz

Speaker Affiliation

Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg; University of Reading

Venue

Zoom Webinar

25 Nov 2020

Wednesday - 12:30PM

Modern Slavery and Cannabis: A New Commodity Ripe for Exploitation?

Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Networks Seminar Series

Speaker

Jenn Larry and Kelly Beker

Speaker Affiliation

Founders, Cannabis Education Guild

Venue

Zoom Webinar

18 Nov 2020

Wednesday - 12:30PM

On the Digital Frontline: The Business of Human Rights in Technology

Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Networks Seminar Series

Speaker

Vidhya Ramalingam; Oliver Goodman

Speaker Affiliation

Moonshot CVE

Venue

Zoom Webinar

12 Nov 2020

Thursday - 12:30PM

Book Launch: Business, Human Rights and Transitional Justice

Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Networks Seminar Series

Speaker

Dr Irene Pietropaoli

Speaker Affiliation

British Institute of International and Comparative Law

Venue

Zoom Webinar

03 Jun 2020

Wednesday - 12:30PM

Webinar: Criminalising Corporate Conduct

Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Networks Seminar Series

Speaker

Russell Hopkins

Speaker Affiliation

Bright Line Law

Venue

Zoom Webinar

06 May 2020

Wednesday - 12:30PM

Webinar: What happens when human rights become management tools? Translating the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights into the corporate sphere

Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Networks Seminar Series

Speaker

Marisa Cait McVey

Speaker Affiliation

University of St Andrews

Venue

Zoom Webinar

29 Apr 2020

Wednesday - 12:30PM

Webinar: Book Launch of 'Business and Human Rights - The Obligations of the European Home States'

Bonavero Institute of Human Rights Networks Seminar Series

Speaker

Dr Dalia Palombo

Speaker Affiliation

University of St Gallen

Venue

Zoom Webinar

Research projects