IBA Releases Handbook for Lawyers on Business and Human Rights


The IBA has launched the first two chapters of the Online Handbook for Lawyers on Business and Human Rights. The IBA’s Legal Policy and Research Unit (LPRU), based in the IBA’s London office, has produced the Handbook as an online self-learning tool. This resource aims to assist lawyers who seek to integrate business and human rights considerations into the advice they provide to clients in relation to M&A and commercial transactions.

Click the following link to access the Handbook:


The Handbook builds upon the IBA’s Business and Human Rights Guidance for Bar Associations and its Practice Guide on Business and Human Rights for Business Lawyers (Guidance documents) adopted by the IBA Council in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The Guidance documents aim to support the work of bar associations and law societies with respect to business and human rights, and explore the implications of the UNGPs for lawyers. In late 2016, the IBA’s Business and Human Rights Working Group issued a Supplementary Reference Annex which provides more detail to support the Guidance documents.

These chapters of the Handbook address three key topics:

  • How human rights are relevant to commercial & M&A transactions, particularly international ones;
  • How to conduct human rights due diligence and its importance in contemporary business; and,
  • Information to assist lawyers (in-house and external) provide advice on commercial and M&A transactions that reflects broader risk management, including human rights.

This unique online tool contains background context, case scenarios, discussion exercises, sample checklists and further reading and resources.

Further information on the current phase of this project can be found here .

There will be a session held at the IBA’s 2017 Annual Conference in Sydney to discuss the Handbook, a curriculum and training pilot project that the LPRU and Law Council of Australia are working on, and other relevant international experiences in business and human rights. The session will be held on Tuesday 10 October from 9:30am to 12:30pm.

The LPRU encourages Feedback on the Handbook from IBA members.


Image source: www.martindale.com

Text source: IBA/Jane Ellis, Director, Legal Policy & Research Unit


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