Professor Sheldon Leader

School of Law
Professor Sheldon Leader
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 873311

  • Location

    5S.6.9, Colchester Campus



Sheldon Leader, a graduate of Yale and Oxford Universities,is the director of the Essex Business and Human Rights Project(EBHR) and a longstanding member of the Human Rights Centre at University of Essex. He is; a member of the Advisory to the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales. He teaches andlectures at the University ofEssex, theUniversity of Paris-Ouest and ata number ofuniversities in the US. His work with the EBHR involves advice and training on issues involving business and human rights in various parts of the world.

Research and professional activities

Research interests


Labour/Employment Law

Links between Human Rights, International Trade, and Investment

Philosophy of Human Rights


Conferences and presentations

Addresstomeeting at the European Parliament of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) European Coalition for Corporate Justice(ECCJ)and Friends of the Earth, Brussels, on July 13, 2011: The duty of states to protect against human rights abuses by business: what new is offered by the Ruggie framework

International Business Leaders Forum, London 1 March 2011: Making sense of the state duty to protect in the light of the Ruggie principles

Distinguished Global Visitor, Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University March-April, 2009, 2010 lectures on trade, investment and human rights.

Address to the UK Law Society: Human rights inside investment and corporate law constraints, April, 2009

Conference on International Labor Law for practitioners: New York University School of Law, June 2008: labour rights and international investment law

Office of the High Commission for Human Rights: invited speaker to plenary session, Geneva, February 2007: Human Rights and Global Project Finance

Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House: London, April 2006: The place of human rights in arbitration; May 2006, New frontiers in corporate social responsibility; March, 2005: Human Rights and Corporate Responsibility

British Institute of Comparative Law, London, April 21 2004: The UN Norms on Business and Human Rights

Yale Law School, April 26, 2004: Human Rights and Investment Agreements

Conference organized by the journal Ethical Corporation: London May 11, 2004: Proactive human rights regulation and investment

Institute for Corporate Accountability, Zicklin School of Business (Baruch College, CUNY) New York City May 13 2004: Compensatory vs proactive protection of human rights the case of BTC

Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po), Paris May 25, 2004 Moralization of Capitalism

Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris Jan 19, 2004: Integration and federation in ethics and law

Teaching and supervision

  • International Human Rights: Theories and Institutions (LW901)

  • International Trade, Investment and Human Rights. (LW917)

  • Business and Human Rights (LW922)


Journal articles (18)

Yilmaz Vastardis, A., Terwindt, C., Leader, S. and Wright, J., (2018). Supply chain liability: pushing the boundaries of the common law?. Journal of European Tort Law. 8 (3), 261-296

Leader, SL., (2016). Statehood, Power, and the New Face of Consent. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. 23 (1), 12-142

Leader, S., (2013). Interview with sheldon leader transnational corporations and human rights. Sur. 9 (17), 107-211

Leader, S., (2010). Legal science, social science, and the problem of competing values. Droit et Societe. 75 (2), 363-378

Leader, SL., (2010). Can You Derive a Right to Strike from the Right to Freedom of Association?. Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal. 15 (2), 271-295

Leader, SL., (2010). Legal Theory and the Variety of Legal Cultures. Journal of Civil Law Studies. 3, 99-110

Leader, SL., (2010). Legal science, social science, and the problem of competing values. Droit et soci�t�. 2 (75), 363-378

Leader, SL., (2009). The Collateral Protection of Rights in a Global Economy. New York Law School Law Review. 53 (4), 805-814

Leader, SL. and Lokiec, P., (2008). Gouvernement d'entreprise et droits des salari�s. Revue de droit du travail, Paris. 2008 (3), 201-203

Leader, S., (2007). Freedom and Futures: Personal Priorities, Institutional Demands and Freedom of Religion. Modern Law Review. 70 (5), 713-730

Leader, S., (2006). Human Rights, Risks, and New Strategies for Global Investment. Journal of International Economic Law. 9 (3), 657-705

Leader, S., (2005). Two ways of linking economic activity to human rights. International Social Science Journal. 57 (185), 541-550

Leader, S., (2002). Choosing an interpretation of the right to freedom of association. British Journal of Industrial Relations. 40 (1), 128-137

Leader, S., (2000). Three Faces of Justice and the Management of Change. The Modern Law Review. 63 (1)

Leader, S., (1999). Participation and property rights. Journal of Business Ethics. 27 (2), 97-109

Leader, SL., (1996). The modern corporation and American political thought - Bowman,S. BUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW. 70 (3), 408-410

Leader, S., (1996). Three Faces of Toleration in a Democracy*. Journal of Political Philosophy. 4 (1), 45-67

LEADER, S., (1991). The European Convention on Human Rights, The Employment Act of 1988 and the Right to Refuse to Strike. Industrial Law Journal. 20 (1), 39-59

Books (1)

Leader, S. and Ong, D., (2011). Global project finance, human rights and sustainable development. 9780511974311

Book chapters (17)

Leader, S., (2017). Coherence, Mutual Assurance, and a Treaty on Business and Human Rights. In: Building a Treaty on Business and Human Rights: Context and Contours. Editors: Deva, S. and Bilchitz, D., . Cambridge University Press (CUP). 79- 102. 978-1107199118

Leader, SL., (2017). Enterprise-Network and Enterprise-Groups: Trends and National/International Experiences The Duty of Care. In: Enterprise and Social Rights. Editors: Perulli, A. and Treu, T., . Kluwer Law International. 9789041182340

Leader, SL., (2016). Human Rights and the Constitutionalized Corporation. In: Multinationals and the Constitutionalization of the World Power System. Editors: Robé, J-P., Lyon-Caen, A. and Vernac, S., . Routledge. 1472482921. 9781472482921

Leader, SL., (2015). Labour Rights in the World Economy. In: Corporate Responsibility for Human Rights Impacts: New Expectations and Paradigms. Editors: Blecher, L., Stafford, NK. and Bellamy, GC., . American Bar Association. 393- 400. 978-1627223911

Leader, SL., (2014). Accountable Corporate Governance. In: The Oxford Handbook on Public Accountability. Editors: Bovens, M., Goodin, RE. and Schillemans, T., . Oxford University Press. 354- 369. 978-0-19-964125-3

Leader, SL., (2014). Project Finance and Human Rights. In: Making Sovereign Financing and Human Rights Work. Editors: Bohoslavsky, JP. and Cernic, JL., . Hart Publishing. 199- 212. 9781849464383

Leader, S. and Kazimova, R., (2011). Overview and recommendations. In: Global Project Finance, Human Rights and Sustainable Development. 490- 498. 9780511974311

Leader, S., (2011). Risk management, project finance and rights-based development. In: Global Project Finance, Human Rights and Sustainable Development. 107- 141. 9780511974311

Leader, SL., (2011). Global responsibility, commercial pressures, and the problem of priorities. In: Responsabilit� sociale de l'entreprise transnationale et globalisation de l'�conomie. Editors: Daugareilh, I., . Bruylant/LJDG. 9782802730293

Leader, S., (2011). An introduction to the issues. In: Global Project Finance, Human Rights and Sustainable Development. Editors: Leader, S. and Ong, D., . Cambridge University Press. 3- 11. 9780511974311

Gilbert, G., Hampson, FJ. and Sandoval, C., (2010). The Delivery of Human Rights: Essays in honour of Professor Sir Nigel Rodley. In: The Delivery of Human Rights: Essays in Honour of Professor Sir Nigel Rodley. Routledge. 114- 136. 0203844351. 9780415579926

Gilbert, G., Hampson, F. and Sandoval, C., (2010). The common introduction. In: Strategic Visions for Human Rights: Essays in Honour of Professor Kevin Boyle. xix- xxvi. 0203844327

Hunt, P. and Leader, S., (2010). Developing and applying the right to the highest attainable standard of health: The role of the UN special rapporteur (2002-2008). In: Global Health and Human Rights: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives. 28- 61. 0203850637

Leader, SL., (2010). La responsabilit� globale de l?entreprise: pressions commerciales et gestion des prioriti�s. In: Responsabilit� sociale de l'entreprise transnationale et globalisation de l'�conomie. Editors: Daugareilh, I., . Emile Bruylant. 9782802730293

Leader, SL., (2010). Labour Rights in the World Economy. In: Valutare il diritto del lavoro [Evaluate Labour Law]. Editors: Lyon-Caen, A. and Perulli, A., . Wolters Kluwer Italia. 113- 122. 9788813299095

Leader, SL., (2010). The Place of Labor Rights in Foreign Direct Investment. In: Global Labor and Employment Law for the Practicing Lawyer. Editors: Estreicher, S. and Morriss, AP., . Wolters Kluwer. 579- 596. 9789041132659

Leader, S., (2006). Inflating consent, inflating function, and inserting human rights. In: Human Rights and Capitalism: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Globalisation. 28- 47. 1845422686

Conferences (3)

Leader, S., (2000). The United Kingdom: A new generation of issues

Leader, S., (1999). Participation and property rights


Reports and Papers (3)

Leader, SL. and Yilmaz Vastardis, A., (2018). Improving Paths to Business Accountability for Human Rights Abuses: A Legal Guide

Van Ho, TLC., Yilmaz, A., Leader, S., Michalowski, S., Netto, U., Danesi, R., Ong, D. and Wlodarczak, B., (2011). Corporate Liability in a New Setting: Shell and the Changing Legal Landscape for the Multinational Oil Industry in the Niger Delta

Farah, Y., Leader, SL. and Kazimova, R., (2008). Analysis of the Amended and Restated Concession Agreement Between the Republic of Liberia and Firestone Liberia, Inc., of 2008

Other (1)

Leader, SL., (2013).Human Rights and International Trade,Routledge

Grants and funding


Business and human rights sector risk assessment

International Marine Purchasing Association


University of Essex


Evaluating redress mechanisms governing the human rights practices of transnational business: lessons for institutional design and operation

University Of Melbourne - Australia

Consultancy - Sheldon Leader - Global Witness

Global Witness

+44 (0) 1206 873311


5S.6.9, Colchester Campus