The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs) expect businesses to participate in operational-level, non-judicial mechanisms to address the grievances of communities affected by their activities. While there is guidance on operational-level grievance mechanisms as to what constitutes an effective process, inquiries into the effectiveness of outcomes have been met with less success. This article identifies three key incongruities within the GPs regarding effective outcomes: (1) the broader interpretation of remedy within the Remedy Pillar compared to the Respect Pillar; (2) the novelty of enforcing human rights through dialogue and engagement as opposed to adjudication; and (3) the difficulty in reconciling objective human rights standards with the subjective preferences of the parties. It then aims to resolve these issues by applying a human rights-based approach: examining how empowerment of communities can act as the founding basis for understanding whether an outcome is effective. It concludes by examining the working of the Porgera Mine mechanism from this perspective.
- human rights based approach
- non-judicial grievance mechanisms
- operational-level grievance mechanisms
- transformative remedy