- Jonathan Kolieb, "Don't Forget the Geneva Conventions: achieving responsible business conduct in conflict-affected areas through adherence to international humanitarian law", Australian Journal of Human Rights (2020)
This article examines the question of how a business operating in a conflict-affected area can uphold human rights. It contends that a crucial yet often overlooked element is a business’s commitment to embedding the fundamental standards of international humanitarian law (IHL) (as distinct from international human rights law) into its policies and practices. While some businesses operate with greater conflict sensitivity than others, in most cases they do not use an IHL lens to do so. The article outlines the significance of IHL for business and provides an affirmative case for greater integration of IHL into the Business and Human Rights project, including its governance instruments and practical tools, to help realise the goal of responsible business conduct in conflict-affected areas.
- Jonathan Kolieb, "Advancing the Business and Human Rights Treaty Project Through International Criminal Law: Assessing the Options for Legally-binding Corporate Human Rights Obligations', Georgetown Journal of International Law (2020)
Description: The current United Nations process for drafting a Business and Human Rights treaty employs international human rights law as its paradigmatic frame of reference, including for the scope of corporations’ legal obligations. Applying an evaluative framework based on Thomas Franck, Robert Keohane and David Victor’s works on the legitimacy and effectiveness of international law and governance, this Article critiques the use of international human rights law for this purpose. Instead, due to several conceptual and practical advantages, it argues that the set of corporate human rights obligations to be enshrined in this first treaty should be based on the narrower scope of international criminal law.
- Jonathan Kolieb, ‘Through the Looking-Glass: Nuremberg’s Confusing Legacy on Corporate Accountability under International Law,’ American Journal of International Law (2017)
Remarkably, proponents of corporate accountability for international crimes, as well as those taking the contrary view, both invoke the legal history of the Nuremberg-era and in particular its treatment of major German corporations, to bolster their arguments. Seventy years after the fact, the Nuremberg-era’s legacy towards holding corporations legally accountable for participation in grave violations of international law remains at the centre of the contemporary debate, yet mired in confusion. This article offers an approach to understanding the competing modern-day interpretations of Nuremberg’s legacy, and explores what insights can be drawn from the dispute that may inform the future of corporate accountability for international crimes.
- Jonathan Kolieb, ‘Australia: The Great Southern Land of Corporate Accountability? Prospects of Human Rights Litigation Against Corporate Bad-Actors in Australian Courts,’ Pandora’s Box Law Journal (2017)
The April 2013 US Supreme Court's Kiobel decision has caused quite a flutter amongst many corporate lawyers and the executives they work for. The decision greatly diminishes the threat to their collective bottom-line of the Alien Tort Statute ("ATS") - a heretofore much vaunted weapon in the armoury of advocates pursuing compensation claims in US courts on behalf of victims of alleged corporate human rights abuses.
- Jonathan Kolieb, ‘Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Shell - A Challenge to Transitional Justice,’ Macquarie Law Journal, Vol. 13, Special Edition: Achieving Transitional Justice (2014)
This case note reviews the 2013 US Supreme Court decision in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum Co (‘Kiobel’) with reference to its potential implications for transitional justice. It argues that the Alien Tort Statute was an innovative transitional justice mechanism that has, due to the Kiobel decision, been sharply curtailed. Moreover, what the Court offered by way of reasoning for its dismissal of the Kiobel case, and what it did not say regarding liability for corporations raise concerning issues for the prospects of non-American human rights victims seeking redress and justice in US courts.
- Ellycia Harrould-Kolieb and Jonathan Kolieb, ‘Corporate Sustainable Peace-building: Exploring the Potential for Corporate Contributions to Conflict Resolution in Africa’ in Salome Bronkhurst and Urmilla Bob (ed.),Conflict-Sensitive Adaptation to Climate Change in Africa, DWV, Berlin (2014)