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The Role of the Lawyer in Implementing the Ruggie Principles: 8 Good Practices For Corporate Lawyers

The Role of the Lawyer in Implementing the Ruggie Principles: 8 Good Practices For Corporate Lawyers focuses on the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights so that corporate lawyers gain a complete understanding of the Ruggie Principles and what they require for their clients and also with respect to their own conduct.
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The role for business lawyers is changing and evolving towards a new professional paradigm. It is a new age for the conception of legal assistance and legal consulting activities in the XXI century: a new concept for legal services and clients representation, that integrates well-known criteria as "due diligence interpreted from a different perspective".

The new "compliance duties" for companies are transforming step by step how to conduct business. The ethics in business theories are key instruments in this transformation and United Nations’ initiatives, as the Business and Human Rights movement, have boosted it. The lawyer of the future should assume its ethical and professional duties, accordingly with its social responsibilities and social leadership. Consequently, internal codes of conduct and deontological rules redefine the professional obligations and entail a new commitment of public service to which all lawyers are called to professionally. It means a different definition for the legal profession itself: the lawyer as an actor and servant of justice, of the Rule of Law, and human rights.

The United Nations Guiding Principles--and the obligations of respect assumed by companies--acquire an enormous relevance, because they determine the basis for a new healthy client-lawyer relationship, based on its compliance with the Ruggie framework for business. The UN's Ruggie Principles impact the definition of these ethical obligations by defining how the lawyer should be with the client. The UN Guiding Principles should be read in a manner compatible with the ethical obligations of the legal profession, and in the same way, professional ethical codes should be reinterpreted in the light of the fundamental role played by lawyers in defending the Rule of Law and the respect of human rights.

The conclusion is that the fundamental role of lawyers is the pursuit of the Rule of Law, which undoubtedly involves their proactive action in the defense and respect of human rights when exercising their profession as business lawyers. It complements the traditional and exclusive interpretation of the social function of the lawyer as a servant of justice, and encourages the assumption of their leadership in the transformation of ethically responsible businesses.

"The Role of the Lawyer in Implementing the Ruggie Principles: 8 Good Practices For Corporate Lawyers" focuses on this implementation of the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and provides detail for business lawyers to gain an understanding of these Principles and what they require for their clients and also with respect to their own conduct.

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Table of Contents

PROLOGUE

Chapter 1: THE RUGGIE PRINCIPLES AND THE NEW UNITED NATIONS REFERENCE FRAMEWORK

Chapter 2: IDENTIFYING THE SUBJECTS OF OBLIGATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Chapter 3: NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Chapter 4: SUSTAINABILITY OF THE LEGAL BUSINESS, CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND COMPLIANCE WITH THE UNITED NATIONS GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Chapter 5: RESPECT FOR PROFESSIONAL CODES OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS

Chapter 6: SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE IMPACT OF THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES ON THE DUAL ROLE OF THE LAWYER: ACTING LOYALLY AND DILIGENTLY, AS AN AGENT OF THE RULE OF LAW AND JUSTICE

Chapter 7: GOOD PRACTICES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RUGGIE PRINCIPLES WHEN PROVIDING LEGAL ADVICE TO BUSINESSES