University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2023

Course Description
Human rights advocates and governments have increasingly focused on corporate accountability for human rights impacts. Corporations that have touted excellent corporate social responsibility records have been accused of complicity with corrupt governments by engaging in a wide range of misdeeds including infringing upon free speech rights; utilizing child and forced labor; limiting freedom of association; destroying the environment; ignoring the will of indigenous peoples; and perpetuating unreasonably dangerous conditions for workers. In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed a corporate responsibility to respect human rights and the American Bar Association has informed members, particularly corporate lawyers, that they must be aware of and counsel clients on these issues. Nations are discussing a potential treaty, regulators and institutional investors are asking more questions about business and human rights, and the world is focusing on environmental, social, and governance factors (ESG). Nonetheless, there are currently no binding international laws or treaties related to business and human rights. In the absence of legal obligations, what is the role of the corporation vis a vis the state regarding human rights? This course analyzes the issues faced by human rights advocates, nongovernmental organizations, governments, stakeholders, institutional investors, and transnational corporations as they attempt to balance the needs of business with those of the larger community around them. We will look at human rights issues in supply chains, megasporting events, fast fashion, technology, the extractive industries, and financial institutions. Class assignments will include simulations, role playing, debates, policy statements, and press releases related to companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Nestle, Coca Cola, and other household names. The final exam will consist of a paper. Students may choose to draft legislation, a national action plan on business and human rights, policy papers, a complaint against a company, or a case study regarding a current or recent event. SKILLS OR CAN BE USED FOR WRITING CREDIT WITH A LONGER PAPER.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
01-17-2023 - 04-24-2023   W  9:00 AM-10:50 AM DL

Course Frequency

Course Information

Credits: 3
Pass/Fail Option: No
Prerequisite: None. Business Associations and/or prior human rights course work is preferred but not required.
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: 50% class participation. 50% final examination.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Skills Requirement
Writing Requirement
Special Attributes: None
Course Delivery:
Online (synchronous and asynchronous)
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s): None
Bar Subject(s): None
Business Compliance and Sustainability (Area of Focus)   More information
Business Compliance and Sustainability (Concentration)   More information
Social Justice & Public Interest (Area of Focus)   More information
Social Justice & Public Interest (Concentration)   More information
Course Book(s):
Textbook Required:
First Class Assignment(s): TBD/None



Contact Information:
Phone: 305-284-6534
Office: G488