Report on cross-border law enforcement cooperation in business and human rights cases

25 April 2017
Working Group on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises
To the HRC at its 35th session, June 2017


Owing to the reference to law enforcement, in the present study the Working Group focuses on cooperation with respect to the investigation and prosecution of criminal and administrative law offences. Since certain jurisdictions do not recognize the application of this body of law to business entities, the report includes studies of cases involving economic actors more generally, which include individual business people. However, given the seriousness of certain cross-border harms, States are encouraged where appropriate to investigate and prosecute companies as such, in addition to natural persons. Sometimes it is not possible to identify key individuals responsible for a crime while it is possible to identify the company. Moreover, even if certain individuals are punished, the company could continue its unlawful conduct; thus, the prosecution of companies may create a needed deterrent beyond that which exists by prosecuting individual actors.

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