A No-Man’s Land of Justice: Holding Corporations Accountable for Human Rights (with Boni Meyersfeld)

by | Sep 20, 2017

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Interviewee: Boni Meyersfeld

Bonita is an associate professor of law at the University of Witwatersrand School of Law in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is also the head of gender at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies and an editor on the South African Journal on Human Rights. Bonita teaches international law, business and human rights and, prior to working in South Africa, was a legal advisor in the House of Lords in the United Kingdom. Bonita obtained her LLB from Wits Law School and her LLM and JSD from Yale Law School and was a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics. Bonita has written, lectured and presented in Africa, the United States, Canada and Europe in the areas of international human rights law, transitional justice, women’s rights, business and human rights and development. Bonita has worked as a litigator and legal advisor, advising South African governmental departments on developmental projects, particularly regarding water and gas distribution. She has also worked as gender consultant to the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York and as a legal consultant at Interights in London. In her guest post below, Bonita blogs today on her excellent new book, Domestic Violence and International Law, which is part of a larger body of her work focusing on intimate systemic violence and international law.

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Interviewer: Kira Allmann

Kira Allmann is the OxHRH Communications Director and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. Her current research focuses on digital inequality, exploring community-driven grassroots solutions to closing the digital divide. She leads several research projects, using ethnographic methods to study the role of community-owned internet networks, local digital skills training, and public internet access points in promoting digital inclusion. Kira is also a research partner of the Whose Knowledge? campaign, which works to center the knowledge of marginalized communities on the web. She completed her DPhil in Oriental Studies (Islamic World) at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and also holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies (University of Oxford) and a B.A. in Government and Linguistics (The College of William and Mary).

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There are many ways in which private businesses hold financial and political power akin to states. They also commit violations and abuses of power akin to states. But are they held accountable in the same way that states are? This episode is all about whether corporations should have human rights obligations – should they be responsible for upholding and defending human rights the way that we expect governments to? We interview Boni Meyersfeld, Professor of Law at the University of Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, about corporate responsibility, gender inequality, and human rights in an age of globalization.

Interview with: Professor Boni Meyersfeld
Produced by: Dr Kira Allmann
Music by: Rosemary Allmann

[Original release: 20 September 2017]

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