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Determining Criteria to Evaluate Outcomes of Businesses’ Provision of Remedy: Applying a Human Rights-Based Approach


The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs) expect businesses to participate in operational-level, non-judicial mechanisms to address the grievances of communities affected by their activities. While there is guidance on operational-level grievance mechanisms as to what constitutes an effective process, inquiries into the effectiveness of outcomes have been met with less success. This article identifies three key incongruities within the GPs regarding effective outcomes: (1) the broader interpretation of remedy within the Remedy Pillar compared to the Respect Pillar; (2) the novelty of enforcing human rights through dialogue and engagement as opposed to adjudication; and (3) the difficulty in reconciling objective human rights standards with the subjective preferences of the parties. It then aims to resolve these issues by applying a human rights-based approach: examining how empowerment of communities can act as the founding basis for understanding whether an outcome is effective. It concludes by examining the working of the Porgera Mine mechanism from this perspective.

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LLM; Lecturer and Research Assistant at Utrecht University. This article is based on an LLM thesis submitted to Utrecht University in July 2015. I would like to thank my thesis supervisors, Brianne McGonigle Leyh and Otto Spijkers, for their support and helpful comments on previous drafts. I would also like to thank Serge Bronkhorst from ACCESS Facility for his advice and ideas. Finally, I would like to thank the referees and the journal’s editors, in particular Surya Deva, for their in-depth comments. This article could not have been written if not for the input of these individuals.

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Business and Human Rights Journal
  • ISSN: 2057-0198
  • EISSN: 2057-0201
  • URL: /core/journals/business-and-human-rights-journal
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