The rule of law is an investment in the future: it has a strong impact on economic growth, sustainable development, human rights, and access to justice. In an ideal world, no one should be above the law, but in reality 57 per cent of the global population is struggling for human rights. This is four billion people, who are not under the shelter of the law. The aim of LexisNexis is to reduce these numbers by providing outstanding legal solutions and technology services to customers in legal, corporate, government, accounting, tax, and academic institutions. We want to ensure that the administration of justice is maintained, and we want to enable legal professionals to make better decisions and achieve better results. The rule of law is the unifying central premise behind the work of LexisNexis with its clients and communities.
To advance the rule of law, LexisNexis engages in strategic partnerships with customers, non-profit and governmental organisations. We are a proud Steering Group member of Business for the Rule of Law (B4ROL), which was introduced by United Nations’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September 2013 at an event co-sponsored by LexisNexis and the Atlantic Council.
The United Nations Global Compact, the largest global corporate citizenship and sustainability initiative that asks companies to support universal principles and to partner with the United Nations, created a strategic working framework for further development of the B4ROL project embracing their 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption:
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights;
Principle 2: Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses;
Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining;
Principle 4: The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour;
Principle 5: The effective abolition of child labour;
Principle 6: The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation;
Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges;
Principle 8: Undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility;
Principle 9: Encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies; and
Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.
The objective is to support and encourage governments to prioritise the rule of law for economic growth and social good. Furthermore, it makes businesses aware of the impact their promotion of the rule of law can have. Nearly 400 senior representatives in 20 countries, including government officials, legal practitioners, academics and members of the civil society, were involved in the consultation process. LexisNexis played a critical part in the inspirational process and made a significant contribution by mobilising 19 consultation workshops around the globe to work on the development of the B4ROL framework. The result is a practical guide with case studies and examples for business, full of ideas on how to take action towards advancing the rule of law. Today, B4ROL is a global initiative that enables the business community to support and observe the rule of law across business interactions respecting the United Global Compact Ten Principles.
Global dialogue created through strategic partnerships is one of the main pillars of bringing businesses together to advance the rule of law. LexisNexis lives and breathes these ten principles in its daily business and we are proud about the part we played in the framework development. With strong passion and commitment, we are continuously working on further projects to drive the rule of law and make the world a better place.
Managing Director, LexisNexis NZ