Penelope Simons

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Penelope Simons
Associate Professor

B.A. (UBC)
LL.M. (Cantab.)
Ph.D. (Cantab.)
LL.B. (Dalhousie)

57 Louis Pasteur St. Room 357

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 3217
Office: 613-562-5124

Work E-mail: psimons@uOttawa.ca

Penelope Simons

Biography

Prior to taking up her position at the Faculty of Law, Penelope was a Senior Lecturer in Law at Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK.  She was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1996 and practiced corporate/commercial law with McCarthy Tétrault LLP.  She has also worked in the nongovernmental sector on peace and disarmament issues.

Penelope has been engaged in research on corporate human rights accountability for over a decade. In December 1999 she participated in the Canadian Assessment Mission to Sudan (the Harker Mission), appointed by Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, to investigate allegations of slavery as well as links between oil development in Sudan and violations of human rights. Her current research is focused on the human rights implications of domestic and extraterritorial corporate activity, state responsibility for corporate complicity in human rights violations, as well as the intersections between transnational corporate activity, human rights and international economic law.

She is the co-author with Audrey Macklin of The Governance Gap: Extractive Industries, Human Rights, and the Home State Advantage(Routledge, 2014) which examines the human rights implications of corporate activity in zones of weak governance and argues for home state regulation.  She is also a co-author with J. Anthony VanDuzer and Graham Mayada of Integrating Sustainable Development into International Investment Agreements:
 A Guide for Developing Country Negotiators(Commonwealth Secretariat, 2013), a book that discusses ways in which international investment treaties could be reimagined to address more effectively the sustainable development concerns of party states.

Penelope teaches international human rights law, business organizations, public international law and a course on transnational corporations, human rights and international trade and investment law.  


 

Publications

Articles

  • P. Simons, “International Law’s Invisible Hand and the Future of Corporate Accountability for Violations of Human Rights” (2012) 3(1) Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 5-43.
  • P. Simons & L. Collins, “Participatory Rights in the Ontario Mining Sector: An International Human Rights Perspective” (2010) 6(2) McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy 177-216.
  • R. McCorquodale & P. Simons, “Responsibility Beyond Borders: State Responsibility for Extraterritorial Violations by Corporations of International Human Rights Law” (2007) 70 Modern Law Review 598-625.
  • P. Simons, 'From Intervention to Prevention: The Emerging Duty to Protect’, (2005) 7 Global Dialogue 27.
  • P. Simons, “Corporate Voluntarism and Human Rights: The Adequacy and Effectiveness of Voluntary Self-Regulation Regimes”, (2004) 59 Relations industrielles/ Industrial Relations, 101-141.
  • P. Simons, “The Emergence of the Idea of the Individualised State in the International Legal System”, (2003) 5 Journal of the History of International Law/ Revue d’histoire du droit international, 293-336.
  • P. Simons, "Militarized Commerce, Human Rights and the Problem of Corporate Accountability", Canadian Council of International Law, The Measure of International Law: Effectiveness, Fairness and Validity, Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference, October 24-26, 2002, 205-223.

Book Chapters

  • P. Simons, “International Law’s Invisible Hand and the Future of Corporate Accountability for Violations of Human Rights” in L Blecher, G Bellamy and N Stafford (eds) Business and Human Rights Law (American Bar Association, forthcoming 2014).
  • R. McCorquodale and P. Simons, “Responsibility Beyond Borders: State Responsibility for Extraterritorial Violations by Corporations of International Human Rights Law”, in A Bianchi, Non-State Actors and International Law (Ashgate, Williston VT, 2009) 505-532.
  • J.A. VanDuzer, P. Simons & G. Mayeda, “Modeling International Investment Agreements for Economic Development”, in V Qalo (ed) Bilateralism and Development: Emerging Trade Patterns (Cameron May, London, 2008) 359-410.
  • W. Shan, P. Simons & D. Singh, “Introduction” in W. Shan, P. Simons & D. Singh (eds) Redefining Sovereignty in International Economic Law (Hart Publishing, Oxford 2008).
  • P. Simons, “Binding the Hand that Feeds Them: Sovereignty, the Agreement on Agriculture, Transnational Corporations, and the Right to Adequate Food in Developing Countries”, in W. Shan, P. Simons, D. Singh (eds) Redefining Sovereignty in International Economic Law (Hart Publishing, Oxford 2008), 399-427.
  • P. Simons, “Corporate Voluntarism and Human Rights: The Adequacy and Effectiveness of Voluntary Self-Regulation Regimes”, in W. Cragg (ed), Ethics Codes, Corporations and the Challenge of Globalization (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK and Northampton MA, 2005), 75-111.

Books

  • P. Simons & A. Macklin, The Governance Gap: Extractive Industries, Human Rights, and the Home State Advantage (Routledge, 2014)
  • J.A. VanDuzer, P Simons & G Mayeda, Integrating Sustainable Development into International Investment Agreements: A Guide for Developing Country Negotiators (Commonwealth Secretariat, 2013)
  • W. Shan, P. Simons, D. Singh (eds) Redefining Sovereignty in International Economic Law, (Hart Publishing,Oxford 2008)

Working Papers

  • J.A. VanDuzer, P. Simons & G. Mayeda, Commonwealth Guide to International Investment Agreement Provisions, Commonwealth Secretariat, March 2010.
  • P. Simons, Human Security, Corporate Accountability and the Regulation of Trade and Investment (CCHS Human Security Working Paper, March 2004).
  • G. Gagnon, A. Macklin & P. Simons, Deconstructing Engagement: Corporate Self-Regulation in Conflict Zones – Implications for Human Rights and Canadian Public Policy (January 2003) (University of Toronto Public Law Research Paper No. 04-07.       
  • P. Simons, ‘Humanitarian Intervention: A Review of Literature’, Ploughshares Working Paper 01- 02, Project Ploughshares, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Conrad Grebel College, Waterloo, Ontario.

 

Courses

  • CML3131 Public International Law
    The aim of this course is to provide students with a systematic introduction to the key principles and institutions of the international legal system. We will critically examine the origins and nature of the international legal system; how international law is made and applied; the participants and their capacities; the United Nations system, the relationship between international law and domestic law; state jurisdiction over land, sea, air and space, persons etc; the jurisdictional immunities of states; the law of state responsibility; and key substantive topics such as the pacific settlement of disputes, the use of force and international human rights law.
  • CML3399/DCL 6123A - Human Rights (International Protection)
    This course aims to provide an introduction to international human rights law. We will critically examine and discuss the history and philosophical foundations of human rights and international human rights law, the international legal context, and the universal and regional regimes and mechanisms for the protection of human rights at the international level. Certain categories of rights and human rights problems will be considered. These will include the core principle of non-discrimination; the right to peaceful assembly; the right to food; women’s rights; the rights of indigenous peoples; the prohibition against torture; counter-terrorism and human rights. These studies will be used to illustrate some of the problems and controversies underlying international human rights law and discourse. Certain questions will be considered: are human rights universal concepts or simply constructs of Western culture? What happens when rights conflict with each other? How are human rights protected and enforced? What if anything distinguishes economic, social and cultural rights from civil and political rights? To what extent can or should issues of national security restrict human rights. Throughout this course students will be invited to critically examine arguments and ideas about human rights, their philosophical underpinnings, and their contemporary legal and political meaning. They will be given the opportunity to explore relevantlaw, theoretical issues and contemporary debates concerning human rights through the lectures, class discussions and activities, their own reading, and in their assessments.
  • CML4124/DCL 6121C Transnational Corporations, Human Rights and International Economic Law
    This course examines the intersections between the activities of transnational corporations, international economic law and international human rights law. Students will consider the conceptual, normative and regulatory challenges transnational corporate actors pose to the international legal system; the facilitation of globalized corporate activity through international economic law, in particular the international regulation of trade and investment; concerns about the human rights impacts of transnational corporate activity; and the variety of regulatory mechanisms available to promote or ensure corporate accountability for violations of human rights. Students will have the opportunity to explore relevant, theoretical issues and contemporary debates concerning the human rights implications of transnational corporate activity through the lectures, class discussions and activities, their own reading, and in the assessments.
  • CML 2302 Business Organizations
    The aim of this course is to introduce students to the three most common forms of organization used to carry on business: sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations.  In particular, the course is designed to teach students about the nature of the interests at stake in a business enterprise, including those of owners, managers, employees, creditors and the public, and to examine the ways in which the law governing sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations mediates among the interests of these stakeholders. Most of the course will focus on an examination of the corporation and the rights and responsibilities of three stakeholder groups: shareholders, directors and officers.  We will critically examine these laws and regulations against theories and critiques of the corporation and consider the appropriate role of the corporation and whether the laws and rules that create and regulate these entities should protect the interests of a broader group of stakeholders within society.
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