SAFESTAINABLE ::: acceptance strategies

Legal Risk Management

Companies operating in conflict sensitive areas are confronted with a range of legal risks and future liabilities related to violations of International Humanitarian law and Human Rights. While a criminal responsibility of complicity for grave breaches of IHL/HR exists for individuals on an international and national level, for the time being companies face only limited risk of criminal charges. However, civil lawsuits directed against companies for complicity in IHL and HR abuses are increasingly emerging at the national level. The most prominent is the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) in the United States, which is increasingly used by civil society to seek redress for damages created by companies' complicity in IHL and Human Rights abuses.

Beyond the current legal risks, companies must be aware of the trend to establish judicial procedures which will hold companies responsible for IHL and HR abuses in the future. Therefore respecting IHL and Human Rights obligations now will not only have a positive impact on a company's reputation and security environment, but will also help to avoid important legal liabilities that might endanger a company's viability in the future.

A company's knowledge of its IHL and HR obligations, as well as the identification and ranking of legal risks according to their probability and potential impact are essential in order to establish a comprehensive legal risk strategy that aims to reduce IHL/HR violations in its sphere of influence and to limit the potential impact on the company.

Safestainable helps clients become conscious about their basic IHL/HR obligations and to address legal and liability risks in a systematic manner following existing best practices. We also help clients implement concrete measures that will reduce legal risks and liabilities as well as related security and reputational risks.

Our Three Pillars legal strategy, focusing on respect, prevention and promotion serves as a starting point when elaborating a detailed legal risk and liability strategy adapted to a clients operational context. While supporting a client in its implementation, relevant indicators and benchmarks are identified in order to measure the success of the adopted legal strategy.