History of Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10 — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR is a milestone document that proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.

The State Bar of Texas created the International Human Rights Committee (IHRC) in August 2015, the first of its kind among state bars, with the goals to study legal issues related to international human rights, inform Texas lawyers of these issues, and provide guidance to these Texas lawyers.

The State Bar of Texas International Human Rights Committee has partnered with the IBA Business and Human Rights Committee and the IBA Human Rights Law Committee to recognize Human Rights Day with a slate of virtual events December 9-10, 2020 addressing different issues involving international human rights. CLE credit is available for licensed Texas lawyers.


Human Rights Day Virtual Events

December 10, 2020

MCLE Credit: 3 Hours to include 1.75 Ethics – Approved

Places are strictly limited, register now to secure your place.

Session 1 – Resolutions and Remedies, from Litigation to Ombudsman, and International Human Rights

December 10, 2020 | 11:00 AM Central Time | 1 Hour including .25 Hour Ethics

This session will explore litigation and dispute resolution. We will look at cases filed against corporations for human rights violations in their international operations, such as the Canadian Nevsun case and the Apple case in the United States, and how other forms of dispute resolution may or may not be better for addressing such issues.


  • Tom Wilson (Moderator), Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas, USA; Officer of the IBA’s Human Rights Law Committee
  • Terrence Collingsworth, IR Advocates, Washington, D.C., USA; Lead attorney for plaintiffs in Doe v. Apple et.al. pending in Washington D.C. federal court
  • Krishnendu Mukherjee, Doughty Street Chambers, London, U.K.; Practices in India and the U.K. on human rights law
  • Matthew Certosimo, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Toronto, Canada; Experienced labor and employment partner with largest firm in Canada
  • Anita Ramasastry, Henry M. Jackson Endowed Professor of Law, School of Law, University of Washington; Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Register Online

Session 2 – An Overlapping Maze: A Comparative Law View on How Multinationals Cope with Laws, Hard and Soft, Impacting Human Rights

December 10, 2020 | 12:15 PM Central Time | 1 Hour including .5 Hour Ethics

This session with explore how multinationals cope with the widely varied laws and offer a comparative view of the differences in laws that may apply, with a consideration of how international projects can be designed and managed in this environment.


  • Austin Pierce (Moderator), Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston, TX, USA
  • Jose Zapata, Partner, Holland & Knight, Bogata, Colombia
  • Edie Hofmeister, Prior General Counsel of Tahoe Resources, Vice Chair, IBA Business and Human Rights Committee, Berkeley, California U.S.A.
  • Vivek Krishnamurthy, Samuelson-Glushko Professor of Law and Director of the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), University of Ottawa, Canada

Register online

Session 3 – Lawyers at Risk: The Impact of Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery on Lawyers and Their Clients

December 10, 2020 | 6:30 PM Central Time | 1 Hour Ethics

This session will explore the risk to legal counsel when clients are involved in human trafficking and modern slavery. We will address issues faced by multinational corporations which find their operations impacted by, or actually encouraging, such human rights violations.


  • Wajiha Ahmed (Moderator), Buttar Caldwell & Co. Solicitors, Sydney, Australia
  • Anne O’Donoghue, Immigration Soloutions Lawyers, Sydney, Australia
  • Hon. Michael Kirby, Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, Sydney, Australia
  • Akiko Sato, Expert in Business and Human Rights, Disability Rights, Access to Justice for socially vulnerable people
  • Nicole D’Souza, Human Rights advocate and lawyer of the Supreme Court of NSW, Australia, working at the intersection of business and human rights in practice, addressing modern slavery and driving diversity and inclusion and social procurement

Register online


Human Rights and the International Supply Chain: Doe v. Apple

Applies to the Texas Bar College & Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate, Civil Trial, Criminal, and Immigration and Nationality Law.

This panel discussion tackles human rights abuses within the international supply chain from the perspectives of real victims on the ground, real people at companies trying to figure out what to do, and real attorneys and judges trying to navigate the competing moral and legal issues. The jumping off points of the discussion are two recent cases:- Doe v. Apple in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and Nevsun in the Supreme Court of Canada, which illustrate the complex forces at play. The panel includes key leaders of these cases, including Siddharth Kara, who is the driving force behind and expert in the Doe v. Apple case; Joe Fiorante, who was lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Nevsun case; and Dean Slocum, who is a leading consultant to companies on supply chain best practices.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand practical considerations implicated by complex supply chain
  • Evaluate two recent cases addressing corporate liability for abuses within the supply chain
  • Consider the use of strategic litigation to advocate for better controls over supply chains
  • Identify best practices at companies dealing with long supply chains both before and after claims arise

1 Hour of MCLE Credit – Approved



  • Joe Fiorante, Partner, Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman
  • Siddharth Kara, Author, Researcher and Activist on Modern Slavery, Child Labor and Related Human Rights Issues
  • Dean Slocum, President, Acorn International, LLC



The Texas Access to Justice Contribution

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