The Castan Centre for Human Rights Law present

Vanessa Zimmerman, Legal Advisor to Professor John Ruggie the UN Secretary-Generals Special Representative on Business and Human Rights

Business and Human Rights at Home and Abroad: an Update on the Work of the UN Secretary-Generals Special Representative on Business and Human Rights

1 April 2011
Held at Monash University, Room G21, Building 75, Clayton Campus

John Ruggie, Berthold Beitz Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government and Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, was appointed by then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan as Special Representative on Business and Human Rights in 2005. In 2008 the UN Human Rights Council welcomed the UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework that he proposed for dealing with business and human rights challenges and gave him another three-year mandate to develop practical recommendations to operationalize the Framework. The recently released draft Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights constitute his final guidance in this respect. Following widespread consultation the Special Representative will submit the final text of the Guiding Principles to the UN for translation, before presenting it formally to the Human Rights Council at its June session. The Special Representative's mandate ends in June 2011.

Vanessa Zimmerman, Legal Advisor to the Special Representative since 2006, will explain the Special Representative's work to date, highlight how it fits into other international initiatives on the topic and discuss potential next steps after the Special Representative's mandate ends in June 2011. The lecture will be also be simultaneously screened at the Indian Institute of Technology Karagpur, providing an opportunity for students to engage in a dialogue with their peers at this institution.

Vanessa Zimmerman: Since June 2006, Vanessa has been a Legal Advisor to Professor John Ruggie in his capacity as the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative on Business and Human Rights.  She helps to coordinate Professor Ruggie's work on the state duty to protect under the UN Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council for dealing with business and human rights issues. She leads the Special Representative's project on corporate and securities law, as well as working on issues related to extraterritorial jurisdiction; domestic and international policy coherence; export credit and procurement; and trade.  

Vanessa is an Australian-trained lawyer with domestic and international experience. She has worked with the Australian Delegation to the UN Human Rights Council and at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human  Rights. She also worked as a competition lawyer at Mallesons Stephen Jaques and at Telstra. Vanessa holds an LLM from Harvard Law School, and a LLB (Hons) and BA in Japanese and History from Monash University. She is also a research fellow at Harvard's Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative.