The Business of Human Rights: Using National Courts to Hold Corporate Actors to Account

January 23, 2019 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
 


Liesbeth Zegveld and Paul Hoffman will discuss their work on holding corporations accountable for human rights violations through domestic courts.  Liesbeth recently persuaded the Dutch state-owned rail company to pay compensation to survivors and relatives of those transported by trains to Nazi death camps during the Second World War.  Paul has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court based on the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) including Sosa v Alvarez-Machain and Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum.

Liesbeth Zegveld is a Dutch human rights lawyer and Professor of Law at the University of Amsterdam committed to liability for human rights violations.  In particular, she is committed to victims of war.  Liesbeth is head of the international law and human rights department at Prakken d’Oliveira Human Rights Lawyers, and has worked on numerous high-profile cases.  Most recently, she persuaded the Dutch state-owned rail company to pay compensation to survivors and relatives of those transported by trains to Nazi death camps during the Second World War. She also won the case for the Srebrenica victims before the Dutch supreme court in 2013.  In 2011, she set up the Nuhanovic Foundation, aimed at facilitating access to justice for war victims.  In 2011, she received the Clara Meijer-Wichmann medal in recognition of her commitment to defending human rights, and in 2014 she received the Amsterdam Dean’s Award.  In 2016 she was voted ‘Most Valued Lawyer’ of the year.  Her recent publications include Body Counts and Masking Wartime Violence, 6 Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies (2015) 443-461, Victims as a Third Party: Empowerment of Victims?, International Criminal Law Review (2018) 1-25, and What Duties Do Peacekeepers Owe Civilians? Lessons from the Nuhanović Case, The Grey Zone: Civilian protection between human rights and the laws of war (2018) 295-313.

Paul L. Hoffman is a partner at Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman, LLP.  Paul has a practice that focuses on the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and has argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including  Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain and Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum.  Paul was the Legal Director of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California from 1984-1994, where he supervised ten staff attorneys and more than 100 volunteer attorneys with a docket of approximately 150-200 cases in every area of civil liberties and civil rights.  Paul was a member of Amnesty International’s 9 member International Executive Committee , which oversees AIs operations throughout the world, from 1999 to 2005 and was its Chair from 2002 to 2004.   Paul has taught classes at Oxford University, George Washington School of Law, Stanford Law School, Harvard Law School, UCLA School of Law, USC School of Law, Loyola Law School and Southwestern University School of Law. He currently teaches at the UC Irvine and UC Berkeley Schools of Law.  Paul received his JD at New York University School of Law, an M.S. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A. from the City College of the City University of New York.

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