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Law Society launches business and human rights engagement programme

July 21 2015

The Law Society has launched a programme to address business and human rights in the legal profession.

With legal firms coming under increasing pressure to recognise human rights, the programme will include the publication of a Law Society Practice Note later this year, providing practical guidance on policies and procedures from solicitors in this rapidly developing area.

The society is currently working with business and human rights experts to undertake a process of engagement and consultation with members on the implications for law firms in England and Wales.

Experts working on this programme have significant experience in law, policy and business practice both internationally and in the UK, and will help to advance the implementation of Business and Human Rights frameworks by legal practitioners.

Law Society president Jonathan Smithers said: “The legal profession has an obligation to encourage its members not only to protect human rights through the law, but to ensure that solicitors are themselves advising and acting to the highest of human rights standards.

“The Law Society is proud to have led the way, as the first bar association in the world to look at how to practically address issues for its members in the business and human rights space. “

The Law Society’s Business and Human Rights programme will incorporate diverse modes of engagement and services to support members including:

•             Free in-person consultations with our expert team to discuss business needs and support in developing effective policies and procedures within their solicitors’ firms.

•             A series of workshops and consultative forums in London, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff.

•             Opportunities for members to become more familiar with recent developments in the area of business and human rights and the implications of these for their practices.

•             Opportunities to share their views through our online survey and written submissions.

“This programme is the next step in our ongoing support of members to assist them in providing the best service to their clients, and maintain their position as the leaders of the profession,” added Mr Smithers.