The Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration


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Start: 20092017

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End: 31122019

To all followers of the Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration project:



On the right, you will find a button that will give you access to the complete draft text of the Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration.

The publication of the draft text of the Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration represents a milestone in our project, as we are finally able to provide those following the project with a complete set of draft provisions which forms the basis for the final version of our work.

The draft text is based on the UNCITRAL Rules and adapted to the unique features of business human rights disputes as discussed in the Elements Paper of last November, and taking into account the comments submitted by members of the Sounding Board and others during our first public consultation in November through January. A summary version of all the comments received was published some days ago on the website of CILC in the form of a Summary Paper (also accesible via the button on the right).

Today we open a second consultation on the draft text of the Hague Rules. We look forward to receiving comments from all interested stakeholders.  For that reason, we have elaborated some tools to facilitate this task.

First, in order to guide readers through the reasoning underlying the formulation of certain articles of the Hague Rules, the Drafting Team has put together a draft commentary. For each article, this commentary highlights whether the Hague Rules amend the original text of the UNCITRAL Rules and, if so, why and to what extent, including the intent of various clauses.  The commentary also formulates certain specific questions to you on certain points where your comments are particularly important.  The commentary is still a work in progress, and we aim to further elaborate and clarify it before the publication of the final version of the Rules in December 2019. Therefore, while we would invite readers to take the commentary into account when providing comments, we would most appreciate reactions to the text of the Rules to which the commentary pertains, rather than on the commentary itself.

Second, readers will notice that some sentences or articles in the text are bracketed. The brackets mark text on which the Drafting Team has only tentative views and on which we particularly welcome views.

With respect to the Code of Conduct annexed to the Rules, this is still an early draft on which we will continue to work.  Readers are welcome to provide comments on the fundamental ideas embodied in the Code of Conduct, and what you think we should add, amend or delete from the text.

With respect to the consultation process, the button on the right will give readers access to the text of the Rules and to an editable PDF form complete with comment boxes for each draft rule. Reviewers are encouraged to offer both general reactions and article-by-article comments to any or all draft text.  Please send your saved PDF form with your comments to the following email address:

In order to allow the Drafting Team to digest what we hope will be a large number of comments on your part in time for the publication of the Rules on 10 December, the second consultation will close on 4 September 2019.


Project description


International arbitration holds great promise as a method to be used to resolve human rights disputes involving business. These disputes often occur in regions where national courts are dysfunctional, corrupt, politically influenced and/or simply unqualified. Parties to such disputes, generally multinational business enterprises (MNEs) and the victims of human rights abuse linked to MNEs, are in need of a private system that can function in these regions. Arbitration also has certain unique attributes that could serve the parties well even where fair and competent courts are available. In addition, arbitration can serve a useful tool to assist MNEs to prevent abuse from occurring in their supply chains and development projects.

The rules in use today for international arbitration were written without a focus on the special requirements of human rights disputes. Hence, changes are needed to ensure that, among other things, there is greater transparency of proceedings and awards, that numerous victims are able to aggregate their claims and that the arbitrators chosen are prominent experts in business and human rights matters.

To this end, this project is aimed at the creation of an international private judicial dispute resolution avenue available to parties involved in business and human rights issues as claimants and defendants. The development of the The Hague Rules could contribute the judicial remedy gap in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The Hague Rules are scheduled to be launched in The Hague in December 2019.

Working Group

The Working Group serves as the overarching body to design, monitor and hence effectuate the process towards the successful development of the The Hague Rules and to arrange for the promotion of the use of arbitration, raising awareness and interest of relevant parties and serving as information and communication body for all relevant stakeholders.

The Working Group has created an international network of interested parties ranging from possible users, experts in human rights and arbitration, arbitral institutions, academics and relevant national and international governmental organisations. Moreover, the Working Group has engaged in the development of contract clauses providing for the use of business and human rights (BHR) Arbitration in supply chain contracts (the Cronstedt-clauses). The Working Group also supports the work of the Drafting Team.

Drafting Team

The Drafting Team has been created to draft the The Hague Rules for use by parties in the context of Arbitration Institutions or ad hoc. The Drafting Team has been set up such, that the relevant expertise engaged from the major regions in the world is represented. The Drafting Team is chaired by Prof. Bruno Simma (former Judge at the International Court of Justice and currently Judge in the US – Iran Claims Tribunal and PCA- and ISDS-arbitrator).

Anne van Aaken


Martin Doe Rodriguez

Member (in personal capacity)

Jan Eijsbouts


Abiola Makinwa


Bruno Simma


Project team

For more information about the project, please contact us at:

Jan Eijsbouts

Project Leader 

Manon Tiessink

Project Coordinator 

Sounding Boards

The drafting of the The Hague Rules will be organized in close consultation with the various stakeholder communities including the NGO’s on behalf of the victims, the business community, the arbitrators and arbitration institutions, human rights lawyers, academics and national and international governmental organisations.

To be established

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