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Sime Darby Plantation recruits human rights lawyer Justine Nolan

Professor Nolan joins six months after Sime Darby was blocked from selling palm oil in the US because of alleged human rights violations.

Sime Darby Plantation, one of the world’s largest palm oil companies, has appointed human rights lawyer Professor Justine Nolan to its commision on human rights.

Nolan joins a commission set up in March to improve the company’s human rights credentials. Sime Darby was blocked from selling its palm oil in the United States because of alleged forced labour on its plantations last year, and has since been working to identify any necessary remediation measures. 

The commission comprises ethical trade consultancy Impactt, and a stakeholder consultation panel which includes migrant worker rights activist and researcher Andy Hall, and the National Union of Plantation Workers. Nolan replaces human rights non-profit Shift on the stakeholder consultation panel.

Nolan will provide additional views on Impactt’s assessment methodology, and assist in reviewing any proposed remediation plans recommended by the consultancy. The assessments had initially been slated for completion in May.

Nolan brings to the role more than 20 years of experience in business and human rights, and currently teaches in the Faculty of Law and Justice at the University of New South Wales, and is the director of the Australian Human Rights Institute.

Before joining UNSW, she worked as the director of the Business and Human Rights programme at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in the US. During this time, she advised companies and civil society organisations on effective strategies to protect human rights.

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