Holding States and Corporations to Account: Successes and Challenges in Redress for Human Rights Abuses
Free Public Lecture
Theatre 230, Level 2
Kwong Lee Dow Building
234 Queensberry Street
T: 9035 6909
How do we hold governments and corporations to account for human rights abuse?
This panel will feature experts engaged in seeking accountability for human rights abuses by states and corporations from the perspectives of both strategic litigation and campaigning.
It will explore how the law is increasingly called upon by individuals and communities to hear evidence of the harm perpetrated by governments and corporations, for example against citizens in detention, through corporate and business activities, and under colonial rule.
It will also consider how other strategies beyond the courts are used to try to prevent such abuses occurring in the first place, and how law and legal institutions are used strategically to create accountability both against our corporations and our governments.
Panelists include Keren Adams (Human Rights Law Centre), Richard Hermer (QC, Matrix Chambers), and Shen Narayanasamy (GetUp!). The panel is hosted by the School of Social and Political Science's Research Cluster on Conflict, Development and Justice together with the Human Rights Law Centre and the Australian Corporate Accountability Network (ACAN).
Shen Narayanasamy, Human Rights Campaign Director
Human Rights Campaign Director
GetUp! and No Business in Abuse
Shen Narayanasamy is the Human Rights Campaign Director at GetUp! She leads the No Business in Abuse campaign which targets corporate involvement in mandatory detention of asylum seekers, and LetThemStay which aims to prevent the deportation of hundreds of asylum seekers to Nauru. Shen's background is as a human rights lawyer and advocate working in Australia and across the AsiaPacific on issues of economic justice and land rights.
Keren Adams, Director of Legal Advocacy
Director of Legal Advocacy
Human Rights Law centre
Keren Adams is Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, leading the organisation’s work on business and human rights. Her work in Australia and internationally has included a range of landmark cases against multinationals for abuses in their overseas operations. These included the UK’s then largestever group claim against oil trader Trafigura on behalf of 30,000 victims of toxic waste dumping in the Cote d’Ivoire and against sugar giant Tate & Lyle on behalf of 200 rural farmers dispossessed by landgrabs in Cambodia. She has also acted in claims against the state on behalf of children abused in state care, immigration detainees and prisoners of war. Keren is a founding member of the Australian Corporate Accountability Network and a member of the Australian government’s advisory group on business and human rights.
Richard Hermer, Matrix Chambers
Richard Hermer is a barrister specialising in international human rights. His cases against government have included representation of victims tortured during military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, claims against the security services for involvement in Guantanamo Bay and the CIA extraordinary rendition programme and claims against the UK for abuses committed in Kenya during the Colonial period. Richard has also been instructed on behalf of communities across the globe in claims against multinational corporations for wide spread environmental damage and complicity in human rights violations including a recent $100 million settlement against Shell for pollution of a community in the Niger Delta.