College of Law

Incorporating Rights: Taking Stock of Strategies to Advance Corporate Accountability

Incorporating Rights: Taking Stock of Strategies to Advance Corporate Accountability

DATE: Thursday, December 9 2021
TIME: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm MST
LOCATION: Virtual Event
COST: Free and open to the public
1 hour CLE (pending)

A Book Celebration & Conversation With Author Erika George


Professor of Law Erika George’s book considers market-based strategies to bring business practices into alignment with the responsibility to respect human rights. It also explores how corporate social responsibility initiatives could close a global governance gap that currently places human rights at risk—and that puts commercial actors in the position of becoming complicit in human rights abuses. George examines corporate codes of conduct, sustainability reporting, shareholder activism, and multi-stakeholder initiatives that could become the building blocks of a set of baseline standards for better business practices.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, a panel of experts will join George for a conversation on overcoming challenges and promoting change. Panelists will take stock of current and emerging efforts to advance accountability and leverage leadership.

Purchase the book from Oxford University Press (enter promotion code ALAUTHC4 to save 30%).



Erika George is Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and director of the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah’s College of Humanities. Her research explores the responsibility of corporations to respect international human rights and various efforts to hold business enterprises accountable for alleged abuses. George is chair of the Advisory Board of the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Earthjustice and is a member of the Fair Labor Association Board. She is a member of the editorial board of the Cambridge University Press Business and Human Rights Journal. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and was recently elected to the American Law Institute. Before joining Utah, she was a fellow with Human Rights Watch in New York and practiced commercial litigation with Jenner & Block in Chicago.


Philip Alston is special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Office of the High Commissioner. Alston was appointed special rapporteur in June 2014 by the Human Rights Council. Born and educated in Australia (law and economics) and with a doctorate from the University of California, he is an international law scholar and human rights practitioner. He is John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and has previously taught at various law schools around the world, including the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Harvard Law School, Australian National University, and the European University Institute.


Surya Deva is professor at the City University of Hong Kong Macquarie Law School Member, and member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. Surya Deva is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of business and human rights. He a member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. Deva has advised UN agencies, governments, multinational corporations, and civil society organizations on issues related to business and human rights. He also researches in the areas of India-China constitutional law, international human rights law, sustainable development, and gender dimensions of new technologies. Deva has published extensively in areas of his research expertise.


Bennett Freeman is principal at Bennett Freeman Associates LLC. Freeman advises multinational corporations, foundations, and NGOs on international human rights and labor rights. In 2018, he authored the report Shared Space Under Pressure: Business Support for Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and International Service for Human Rights. He served as chair of the advisory board of Global Witness; co-founder and vice chair of the Global Network Initiative; co-founder of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark; and co-founder of the Cotton Campaign. Previously, Freeman was SVP Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.


Ryan Gellert is chief executive officer of Patagonia Works and Patagonia, Inc. Prior to his appointment to this global role, Ryan spent six years as Patagonia’s general manager of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. During that time, he elevated Patagonia to a position of leadership in Europe’s outdoor industry and environmental communities, overseeing all sales, marketing, environmental and operational activities for the brand. An avid climber and backcountry snowboarder, Ryan has climbed and ridden all over the world. He has extensive experience working with direct action environmental groups, having served on the boards of Access Fund, Protect Our Winters, the European Outdoor Group and the Soil Heroes Foundation. In addition, he was a founding individual member of 1% for the Planet. Ryan holds a JD from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah; an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology; and a BSBA in finance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


Fernanda Hopenhaym is co-executive director at Project on Organizing, Development, Education and Research (PODER), an organization in Latin America dedicated to corporate accountability. For twenty years, Ms. Hopenhaym has worked on economic, social and gender justice. She also works to advance corporate accountability and strengthen respect for human rights vis-a-vis private and public investments or development projects, and private sector operations with attention to local communities affected by public/private projects in their pursuit of justice and remedy. She has conducted advocacy globally and in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region leading capacity building trainings on business and human rights related issues. She is the Chair of the Board of ESCRNet, the international network for economic, social and cultural rights; board member of EarthRights International and an adviser to the Business and Human Rights Award Foundation. Since November 1, she is the LAC member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.



Tony Anghie is professor of law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the National University of Singapore. His research interests include public international law, international economic law, human rights and the history and theory of international law, and he has published in each of these areas. He has served as a visiting professor at various universities including the University of Tokyo, the London School of Economics, the American University of Cairo and Harvard Law School. He has also served as a counselor and as a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. He is a co-editor of the Asian Journal of International Law and a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of International Law. He is a member of the Third World Approaches (TWAIL) network of scholars.


SUBSCRIBE to the S.J. Quinney College of Law event lists to stay current on upcoming College of Law events. You may unsubscribe at anytime.

The S.J. Quinney College of Law is pleased to provide free CLE opportunities for attorneys. All donations welcome to support our programs.