Incorporating Rights: Corporate Responsibility and Technology

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A Research Futures webinar with Professor Erika George

  • 17 December 2020
  • 9 min read

Join the 29th session in the University of Portsmouth's Interdisciplinary Webinar Series, chaired by  Leïla Choukroune, Professor of International Law and Director of the University of Portsmouth Thematic Area in Democratic Citizenship, and presented by Prof. Erika George, the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law in the S.J Quinney College of Law and Director of the Tanner Humanities Center.

Prof. George examines the relationship of transnational corporations in the internet communications technology sector (ICT sector) to human rights and the risks presented to the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy, and to democracy by particular business practices. She considers the controversial role of transnational ICT corporations in disinformation campaigns, state censorship and surveillance practices, and incitement. She explains how conflicts over corporate complicity in alleged rights abuses are serving to catalyze change and considers the creation of the Global Network Initiative, a private multi-stakeholder project and the Ranking Digital Rights Initiative, an industry independent market-based information effort that aim to promote more responsible business practices in the social media industry sector as examples. She further explains how indicators in the form of rankings and reports evaluating the human rights performance of corporate actors can serve as regulatory tools with potential to bridge a global governance gap that often places human rights at risk. In conclusion, she will offer a comparative analysis of recent ways corporations in the sector are attempting to incorporate rights concerns and the impetus for taking on issues related to human rights.



Erika George is the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law in the S.J Quinney College of Law and Director of the Tanner Humanities Center. She teaches constitutional law, international human rights law and seminar courses on equality, sustainability, and corporate responsibility. She earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She also holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago. Before entering the legal academy she worked with Human Rights Watch. Her current research explores efforts to hold corporations accountable for alleged rights violations. She is the author of Incorporating Rights, forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

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