Hong Kong Lawyer

August 2017

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EDITOR'S NOTE 編 者 的 話 Cynthia G. Claytor 《香港律師》編輯 Legal Media Group 湯森路透 cynthia.claytor@thomsonreuters.com There is a growing awareness of the negative impact of business practices that fail to respect human rights, with much publicity in recent years focusing on supply chain risks and abuses. It is especially important for lawyers to be attuned to these issues, as human rights abuses can present legal, financial and reputational risks for clients and have severe consequences when discovered. As observed by the International Bar Association, law firms are increasingly expected to help their clients identify and manage human rights risks, as well as broader reputational risks that may be associated with them. With human rights constantly evolving and increasingly being reflected in hard law instruments, in-house lawyers are also being asked to play a significant role in managing their company's strategic and reputational risks, including those that relate to human rights. To assist lawyers who are involved in advising businesses globally, the International Bar Association Legal Policy and Research Unit ("IBA LPRU") released a Handbook for Lawyers on Business and Human Rights on 17 July 2017, which provides guidance on how to address human rights risks in relation to certain legal practice areas: corporate mergers, acquisitions and restructuring; and commercial contracts, including supply, distribution and franchise agreements. To offer further support, the IBA LPRU has also developed a curriculum and training programme for lawyers on business and human rights, which will be piloted this year in Australia, in partnership with the Law Council of Australia. The IBA LPRU will monitor and assess the pilot programme's impact and areas for potential improvement in hopes of replicating it in other jurisdictions. The author of the Human Rights insight (p. 52) speaks more about the Handbook, as well as the training programme and its future potential. The author also notes that for initiatives like the IBA LPRU to succeed in any jurisdiction, the entire legal profession, including legal regulators and bar associations, must be engaged and fully supportive. Hopefully, once this programme is available to other IBA members, leaders in other legal communities, including legal regulators, will support and lobby for its local replication, in addition to drawing upon the Handbook and other similar initiatives to ensure local lawyers are adequately equipped to advise businesses. 隨著近年來被廣泛宣傳的供應鏈風險和濫權行為,越來越 多的人意識到不尊重人權的商業行為的負面影響。律師對 這些問題的處理尤其重要,因為侵犯人權行為可能給客戶 帶來法律、財務和聲譽的風險,當被發現後可能會產生嚴 重的後果。 根據國際大律師公會所觀察到的,律師事務所越來越多地 被依賴去幫助客戶識別和管理人權風險,以及可能與之相 關的更廣泛的聲譽風險。隨著人權意識不斷演變,越來越 多地反映在硬性法律文書中,機構內部律師也被要求在管 理公司的戰略和聲譽風險方面,包括與人權有關的風險, 發揮重要作用。 為 了 幫 助 那 些 參 與 提 供 全 球 企 業 諮 詢 的 律 師 , 國 際 大 律師公會法律政策和研究組,於2017年7月17日發布 了" Handbook for Lawyers on Business and Human Rights";該手冊提供指導,說明如何解決與某些法律實 務領域有關的人權風險:企業兼併,收購和重組; 和商業 合約,包括供應、分銷和特許經營協議。 為了提供進一步的支持,國際大律師公會法律政策和研 究組還制定了關於商業和人權律師的課程和培訓計劃, 今年將與澳大利亞法律委員會的合作下在澳大利亞作試 點推出。國際大律師公會法律政策和研究組將監測和評 估試點計劃的影響和可以再改進的地方,因為他們希望 將其複製到其他司法管轄區。業界透視中「人權」一文 的作者(第53頁)更多地談到了該手冊,以及培訓計劃及 其未來潛力。 希望一旦向其他國際大律師公會成員提供此項計劃時,其 他法律社群的領導人,包括法律監管者,將會支持和為當 地的複制進行遊說,並藉利用該「手冊」和其他類似的舉 措,以確保當地律師有足夠的能力向企業提供諮詢。 4 www.hk-lawyer.org •  August 2017 Cynthia G. Claytor Editor, Hong Kong Lawyer Legal Media Group Thomson Reuters cynthia.claytor@thomsonreuters.com

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