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Ulysses Smith

Biography Ulysses is Director of the Business and the Rule of Law programme and a Senior Research Fellow at the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law. He is a New York based lawyer and currently runs Telos Governance Advisers, which advises businesses, governments and not-for-profits on issues of governance, Rule of Law, development and human rights compliance.  He was previously a senior associate in the New York office of UK-based law firm Linklaters LLP, where he practised as an attorney…


Lise Smit

Biography Lise Smit is Senior Research Fellow in Business and Human Rights, and joined BIICL in March 2015. She conducts research on corporate human rights due diligence and other aspects of implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Prior to joining the Institute, Lise was a practicing advocate at the Cape Town Bar in South Africa. She has worked on business and human rights issues for the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and the UN Global Compact Office.…


No Deal Brexit, Business and the Rule of Law

The profound changes that would accompany a No Deal Brexit will transform the legal environment in which business operates, from changing the terms of trade relationships in Europe, to the structure of regulation and the content of laws. This paper explores the consequences for the Rule of Law for Business from these changes, by drawing on the perspectives of experts from the Bingham Centre's business network and other Brexit experts. Our interviews revealed that the search for certainty…


Credit Ratings Agencies and Rule of Law Data

The Bingham Centre is exploring how Rule of Law information systems capturing data on Rule of Law principles are used by Credit Ratings Agencies (CRAs).  CRAs play a fundamental role as information brokers, with ratings conveying an assessment of a sovereign's or a corporate's creditworthiness. The Rule of Law is an important factor determining the willingness and likelihood that financial obligations will be upheld. As such, compliance with Rule of Law principles should flow through…


Restricting Foreign Direct Investment: the Rule of Law argument

This article was originally published in SC Magazine and on the Information Law and Policy Centre's website. Should companies based in authoritarian countries be permitted to invest in sensitive areas of another country's economy? 5G technology promises to be truly revolutionary. Not only will it make data-intensive communications virtually instantaneous, but it has the potential to unlock the 'internet of things'. 5G could connect super high-speed internet, with almost no time lag,…


Rule of Law Capacity Building for Business

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law is developing Rule of Law Capacity Building for in-house lawyers and senior managers. This comprises a 1-1.5 hour training session, designed to support legal teams to identify ROL issues or risks within the business, and develop practical solutions to address ROL challenges in jurisdictions where they operate. Share LinksProject - Tags


World Justice Forum 2019 Concluding Declaration

World Justice Forum participants reaffirm their commitment to justice for all Emphasizing the commitment to justice that every government has made through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Sustainable Development Goal 16; Noting the findings of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just, and Inclusive Societies and its Task Force on Justice, that 5 billion people have unmet justice needs globally, including people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems,…


Zuckerberg is right: Third-party standards must govern online speech

Published in VentureBeat  on 6 April 2019. While some lawmakers and privacy advocates have criticised Mark Zuckerberg's recent call for greater government oversight, deeming it PR-driven and self-serving, the proposal he outlined goes a long way toward reforming an issue of enormous significance in the tech space. He advocates for third-party content standards, which would sharply reduce Facebook and other companies' power to decide what constitutes protected speech. Freedom of speech,…


Ulysses Smith chairs the Online Advertising, Human Rights and the Rule of Law at NYU Stern in New Yo

Ulysses Smith chaired the Bingham Centre's event on Online Advertising, Human Rights and the Rule of Law at NYU's Stern School of Business, which considered the human rights and Rule of Law implications of online advertising This discussion considered the human rights implications of current online advertising practices, and how advertisers, internet platforms, and advertising companies can be expected to address these risks. Advertisers face potential reputational risks when brands are associated…


European Commission study on human rights due diligence in supply chains

We are leading a project for the European Commission DG for Justice and Consumers on human rights due diligence in supply chains. Our research partners are Civic Consulting  in Berlin, and LSE Consulting. This study follows the request by the European Parliament of June 2018 for the Commission to propose a mandatory legislative framework for mandatory human rights due diligence, including "a duty of care to be fully phased-in within a transitional period".  The study will have…


A "failure to prevent" adverse human rights impacts mechanism

In March 2017, the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights released a report on business and human rights in which it proposed the introduction of a "failure to prevent" mechanism for corporate human rights abuses. In March 2017, the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights released a report on business and human rights in which it proposed the introduction of a "failure to prevent" mechanism for corporate human rights abuses.  Together with the international law firm Hogan Lovells we…


The Business Case for the Rule of Law

Published in NACD Board  Talk on 7 June 2018 With the principle of the rule of law and democratic governance under siege in numerous parts of the world, corporate board members are increasingly considering how global events are creating mounting risks to both their businesses and the bottom line. These actions are taking place in jurisdictions that have long been high risk for companies. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela, and Myanmar, for example, have for some time presented…


Rule of Law - Video for Chief Executives

Video for Chief Executives


Rule of Law - Video for Chairs

Video for Chairs


When National Law Conflicts with International Human Rights Standards: Recommendations for Business

The first research supported by the Bingham Centre's Business Network examines how companies can adhere to international human rights standards, as described in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, when faced with contradictory domestic laws or practices. The research brought together the international legal framework, existing guidance for specific issues or sectors, and practical examples for businesses. The research methodology included semi-structured conversations…


Business and Human Rights after Brexit

Lise Smit and Justine Stefanelli. Listen to the podcast about Business and Human Rights after Brexit here 


Regulatory challenges underlying FinTech in Kenya and South Africa

Technological innovation in finance ("FinTech") has been on the rise in recent years, creating new challenges for regulators. These challenges vary significantly depending on the region in question and type of economy, not least because different technologies are applied to tackle different problems. This Article by Bingham Centre Research Fellow, Dr Anton Didenko, focuses on regulatory frameworks of two leading jurisdictions in terms of FinTech development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Kenya…


Risk and Return: Foreign Direct Investment and the Rule of Law

The Bingham Centre, working with the law firm Hogan Lovells, commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to survey senior executives at leading multi-national companies to identify the factors considered by multinational businesses when selecting where to undertake foreign direct investment (FDI), and to gauge the importance of the Rule of Law as a selection criterion. The survey was conducted with 301 senior decision-makers at Forbes 2000 companies with global annual revenues of…

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