Governance & Security

Business influences or interferes with judicial proceedings


The right to seek remedy for human rights violations from independent and impartial judicial proceedings is a fundamental human right. Businesses may find themselves involved in litigious proceedings on a range of issues as a result of its operations. Unlawful interference with such proceedings may take many forms, including:


• bribing judicial officers, court personnel and witnesses;
• intimidating witnesses (or potential witnesses) to deter or influence their evidence, or threatening or assaulting them;
• interfering with jurors including by threats, abuse and influence outside of court; and
• intentionally misleading or deceiving the court with false information.


Businesses should ensure sufficient internal procedures are in place to prevent, detect and respond to instances where its personnel try to influence or interfere with judicial or similar proceedings. In ensuring internal procedures are adequate, Businesses should undertake regular and ongoing risk assessments to identify and prevent the risk of business employees influencing or interfering with legal proceedings. Businesses should also provide training for personnel to appreciate the risks and penalties involved.

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, Articles 7, 8, 10
Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, 1985, Articles 1, 2, 4
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, Article 2
OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions, 1997

SDG 16


SDG 16.3

Refraining from interference in judicial processes may assist in achieving SDG 16.3: Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all.

SDG 16.5
Ensuring businesses do not engage in corruption and bribery in connection with judicial or similar proceedings helps achieve SDG 16.5: Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms