Ucall Conference on Accountability and International Business Operations

Between 18 and 20 May 2017, Ucall organized its second biennial international conference, titled ‘Accountability and International Business Operations: Providing Justice for Corporate Violations of Human Rights, Labor and Environmental Standards’. The conference included presentations by various keynote speakers and panelists, a stakeholders’ roundtable and a PhD masterclass (see the programme).  We look back upon a very successful conference and we would like to thank all participants for their contribution. In this blogpost, some tentative conclusions of the conference are offered.



Cedric Ryngaert presents paper

On 2 June 2017, Cedric Ryngaert presented a paper on “Hands-off Prosecution” – Feasibility of the European Approach” at a conference on “Prosecuting Companies for Human Rights Violations Abroad?” at the University of Basel (Switzerland). Subsequently, on 3 and 4 June 2017, he participated in a workshop of the Association Internationale de Droit Pénal, during which he presented the Dutch national report on jurisdiction over corporate crime. Click here for the program of the conference.



Ucall Conference on Accountability and International Business Operations

Don’t forget to register for the Ucall Conference on Accountability and International Business Operations. The Ucall Conference will be held at Utrecht University on 19 and 20 May 2017.


The adverse effects of multinational corporations’ business activities, especially on human rights, labor rights, and the environment in the host country of investment, have been well documented. A consensus has also emerged that corporations have social and environmental responsibilities when operating transnationally. However, how exactly corporations can be held legally accountable for their transgressions, if at all, is less clear.

This conference inquires how regulatory tools stemming from international law, public law, and private law may or may not be used for transnational corporate accountability purposes. Attention will be devoted to applicable standards of liability, institutional and jurisdictional issues, and practical challenges, with a focus on ways to improve the existing legal status quo. In addition, there will be consideration of the extent to which non-legal regulatory instruments may complement or provide (more viable) alternatives to these legal mechanisms. The conference combines legal-doctrinal approaches with interdisciplinary and policy insights.

Keynote speakers

  • Larry Backer (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Karin Buhmann (Copenhagen Business School)
  • Geert van Calster (KU Leuven)
  • Jan Eijsbouts (formerly University of Maastricht/AKZO-Nobel)
  • Liesbeth Enneking (Utrecht University)
  • Judith van Erp (Utrecht University)
  • Gilles Goedhart (Ministery of Foreign Affairs)
  • Nicola Jägers (Tilburg University)
  • Radu Mares (Raoul Wallenberg Institute)
  • Martijn Scheltema (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
  • Oliver de Schutter (KU Leuven)
  • Michelle Jonker-Argueta (Greenpeace International)
  • Vibe Garf Ulfbeck (University of Copenhagen)
  • Jan van Wijngaarden (SER)
  • Jennifer Zerk (Jennifer Zerk Consulting
  • Martina Gasser (Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs)

Conference fees

  • Regular: 150 euro
  • PhD Candidate: 75 euro
  • Student: 35 euro

Click here to view the full program. Click here to sign up for the conference.


The conference is organized by a team of researchers from the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law: Prof. Ivo Giesen (private law), Dr. Liesbeth Enneking (private law), Prof. François Kristen (criminal law), Anne-Jetske Schaap (criminal law), Prof. Cedric Ryngaert (international law), and Lucas Roorda (international law).

For further questions regarding the conference, please contact us through



Ferry de Jong in Volkskrant

On April 25, Ferry de Jong gave an explanation in the Volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper, on a case in which a couple that was robbed ran their robber over with a car. As a consequence, the robber died. In this article, he discusses two Supreme Court rulings about the boundaries on the plea of self-defence.




Ivo Giesen Research Director of Department of Law and Director of G.J. Wiarda Institute

On April 1, Ucaller Ivo Giesen was appointed as Research Director of the Department of Law and Director of the G.J. Wiarda Institute. With this he succeeds Ucaller Rob Widdershoven, who has finished the same function after six years. Anne Keirse succeeds Giesen as program leader of Ucall. We wish Ivo every success with his new function.