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Webinar Series: Business and Human Rights Developments in Southern Europe 

Episode 1: Business and Human Rights Developments in Portugal

Date: 15 September 2020

Time: 12:00-13:30 (UK / Portugal time)

Venue: Online

Jointly organised by Nova School of Law and BIICL


Various jurisdictions across the world have adopted National Action Plans in Business and Human Rights and have enacted legislations or are discussing legislative initiatives to regulate companies and prevent adverse human rights and environmental impacts. These developments raise important questions about the adequacy of existing norms and their ability to drive change towards responsible business practices. Whilst much of the focus so far has been on a small number of countries seen as 'big players', less attention has turned to jurisdictions in Southern Europe in which important developments are currently occurring.

The aim of this webinar series is to gather scholars, legal practitioners, companies, civil society, government representatives, policy advisers, investors, insurers, and other relevant stakeholders from Southern European jurisdictions in order to provide insights into the current regulatory landscape, and the lessons that can be learn from other jurisdictions. The webinars will be multilingual.

Find out more about the series

Episode 1:  Portugal

For the first episode of the webinar series, the spotlight was on Portugal. The panel analysed some of the key findings of the first national survey on Business and Human Rights in Portugal, the current legal landscape in relation to human rights and environmental responsibilities of companies, relevant instances before the Portuguese OECD National Contact Point, as well as taking in practical insights and perspectives from academics, government representatives, NGOs, legal practitioners, trade unions, and business.

The keynote speech was delivered by the Vice-president of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala. In recent years, much of the attention in the business and human rights field has focused overwhelmingly on a small number of Northern European countries, so Hautala welcomed the initiative of the webinar series and its focus on other jurisdictions.

She discussed recent developments at the European level following the announcement by EU Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders,  that the European Commission would introduce a legislative initiative on mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence as part of the post-COVID 19 recovery package in 2021. Hautala emphasized that: 'it is now time to move from baby steps to giant strides'.

Join in the conversation @BIICL #BizHumanRights


  • Beatriz Albuquerque, Vieira de Almeida & Associados
  • Pedro Almeida, Senior Officer, Ministry of Justice, Portugal
  • Isabel Cabrita, ISCSP/ Universidade de Lisboa
  • Hugo Dionísio, General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGPT-IN)
  • Céline da Graça Pires, Human Rights specialist at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
  • Pedro Neto, Executive Director of Amnesty International, Portugal
  • Rui Ribeiro Lima, Morais Leitão Galvão Teles, Soares Da Silva & Associados
  • Teresa Violante, Fiedrich-Alexander Universität-Erlangen-Nürnberg

Keynote speech by Heidi Hautala, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Chair of the Responsible Business Conduct Working Group.

Presentations from Episode 1

Recording of Episode 1


CPD Information

This event offers the equivalent of 1.5 CPD hours.


If you have any queries, please contact the Events team

Photography and Recording

Please note that our events may be photographed or audio recorded. These materials will be used for internal and external promotional purposes only by the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. If you object to appearing in the photographs, please let our photographer know on the day.

Alternatively you can email BIICL Marketing Manager, Carmel Brown in advance of the event that you are attending.

Event Cancellation Policy

When you register for an event you will be asked to confirm that you have read and understood our cancellation policy.

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