Introductory Webinar 9 July 2020

UK charity Human Rights at Sea and global law firm Shearman & Sterling LLP have partnered on a project to facilitate the resolution of disputes concerning human rights at sea using international arbitration. The project’s chief aim is to provide those living, working and transiting at sea with an effective remedy for human rights abuses, while also combating impunity for the perpetrators of such abuses.

The project reached its first significant milestone on 24 March 2020, when Human Rights at Sea and Shearman & Sterling jointly issued a White Paper (available in both English and French) setting out the broad parameters of the arbitration-based system being proposed and identifying the main benefits such a system is expected to generate, as well as potential challenges that its development and implementation might entail.

This Webinar honed in on certain key issues raised in the White Paper and subjected them to a focused discussion led by experts from various fields, including the legal, maritime and banking sectors. The principal goals were two fold:

  • to facilitate the project’s further development through results-oriented brainstorming on critical legal and practical challenges; and
  • to further socialize the project, thereby fostering its acceptance as well as the involvement of necessary stakeholders.

In addition to having the potential to effect real change for human rights abuse victims, the Webinar will also contribute to the study and practice of international arbitration and human rights law, as leading experts will address topics of great academic and practical significance in both fields.

Watch the Webinar Sessions

Review and switch between individual sessions via the Human Rights at Sea YouTube platform

Discussion Topics

  • The concepts introduced in the White Paper and anticipated next steps in bringing them to fruition;
  • The use of international arbitration to address human rights issues for those living, working and transiting at sea;
  • The extent to which institutional arbitration could be beneficial in the human rights context;
  • Lessons learned from the drafting of the Hague Rules on Business and Human Rights Arbitration;
  • Consent as a necessary feature of human rights at sea arbitration;
  • Ensuring participation of necessary stakeholders – practical challenges and how they might be addressed.


Speakers include academics, legal counsel and other professionals who are experts in their respective fields (international arbitration, shipping law, human rights law, banking and finance).

Download Speaker Presentations