Tara Van Ho, PhD Profile picture
Nov 2 16 tweets 8 min read
The policy changes from @MorningstarInc show such a lack of competence in #BizHumanRights, international law & human rights standards as to raise questions about the company's basic competence to do ESG research.

A brief 🧵

First, "occupation" & "occupied territories" are legal terms. The conditions for those terms are met in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. @MorningstarInc's refusal to accurately describe the situation & geography is a legally unsound choice.

It is also a dangerous choice. It normalizes a situation that is distinctly & intentionally abnormal under int'l law. Occupation is supposed to be temporary & annexation is prohibited. By choosing, politically, to downplay the illegality of the situation, @MorningstarInc is
giving effect to a series of unlawful actions. That normalization has distinct, negative effects for Palestinians & Palestinian human rights.

@MorningstarInc has clearly not grappled with that part of this situation or their attendant responsibility.

Why do I say "@MorningstarInc has clearly not grappled" with this? B/c it lists NO Palestinian NGOs in the list of groups consulted. This renders the company's research & "consultation" on everything to do with this situation incomplete & inadequate.


It also calls into question @MorningstarInc's basic competence to conduct objective & conflict-sensitive human rights analysis. You cannot undertake an ESG / #BizHumanRights assessment of *any* situation without consulting relevant stakeholders & here MS left out an entire
segment of affected stakeholders (Palestinians) whilst making decisions about how to address & understand their reality.

If they couldn't find 🇵🇸 willing to talk with them, (1) they could've started w/ expert academic advice & (2) this should've raised *many* red flags.

That it didn't raise red flags for @MorningstarInc -- that this is how the company does "social" research for its own interests -- suggests such a lapse of professional competence that MS seems incapable of understanding or meeting (let alone assessing) #BizHumanRights standards.
Their seeming admission of professional incompetence is furthered by the vague claim that "Sustainalytics will immediately terminate the use of several sources, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, among others."

This statement raises *So.* Many. Questions.

Including: Will this only apply to Israel? If so, why? Does this mean @MorningstarInc will no longer use information only from the political resolutions or also reports from @UNHumanRights or @UN_SPExperts to the Council? The latter are highly valued, expert-driven bodies.

& does @MorningstarInc realise there's a difference b/w these groups / bodies?

A refusal to use reports from @UNHumanRights or @UN_SPExperts is to commit to willful ignorance & incomplete information. It should be considered professional malfeasance for S-research.

Finally, Israel & Palestine -- both as an occupation & independent of it -- is a conflict-affected area. Under UN Guiding Principles on #BizHumanRights, this does give rise to a responsibility to use heightened due diligence, meaning a presumption of heightened HR risks.

For @MorningstarInc to remove that presumption from the Israel-Palestine conflict puts the company perpetually out of alignment with the UNGPs on #BizHumanRights.

It also subjects Palestinians to a lower level of protection than, eg, Ukrainians, South Sudanese, Yemenis, etc.
In other words, @MorningstarInc has embedded a racist (anti-Palestinian) approach into its ESG research in an effort to combat concerns about another form of racism (anti-Semitism).

This is unacceptable.

You cannot combat racism & human rights violations by embracing a different type of racism & human rights violations.

& if your ability to assess & respect Israeli rights requires ignoring & abusing Palestinian rights, you again demonstrate professional incompetence.

The combination of issues suggests such a level of incompetence at #BizHumanRights as to render all other assessments suspect.

In light of this, @MorningstarInc should stick to E&G research & drop the S completely: they clearly don't know how to do it ethically.


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More from @TaraVanHo

Nov 2
This took a few days to reach me (b/c thankfully Irving is irrelevant to my life). Irving -- a flat Earther -- should never be listened to about anything other than basketball, but his actions & this statement are so dangerous they need to be dissected & addressed:
Once again, racism in all its forms -- including anti-Semitism -- is so prevalent that people can believe, repeat & amplify racist things even while proclaiming they aren't racist.

See, eg: DJT & every white person who has ever said "I'm not racist -- I have a Black friend!"
That prevalence means you can be racist even when you come from a racialized background (& even against your own race). So, Irving hiding behind his "Omnist" label is a cowardly effort to deflect legitimate criticism about his conduct.

And what was that conduct?
Read 23 tweets
Aug 8
I've been decisively described as a "scholaractivist" more than 1x. Perhaps unsurprisingly, but I take it as a point of pride that my research has impact beyond its "merely discursive" contribution.

A brief 🧵 in which @tarunkhaitan's & my differences seem bigger than they are.
First, let's admit that in today's UKHE, it is a privilege to focus on "merely discursive" contributions yo the law. The UK Research Excellence Framework & grant-making bodies prioritise the kind of impact @tarunkhaitan dismisses as activism.
Society has demanded that our work move beyond seeking truth & disseminating knowledge. We are increasingly required to show that our work has some larger purpose & role. The choice to reject that demand is a choice of a particular kind of privilege.
Read 44 tweets
Jun 14
🧵 I swore I wouldn't do this b/c I have other, more important things to do but if @TimesRadio is going to discuss Steven's 'article,' I'm going to respond to it by going through the article and explaining why it's wrong:
1. No one (credible) is saying this is a breach b/c it's against the EU's interest. Let's presume for now that international law is law (I'll address that shortly). One source of int'l law -- roughly equivalent to a statute -- is a treaty, like the NI Protocol.
Treaties are written agreements between 2 or more equally sovereign states. Now, they aren't exactly contracts but they do work under similar principles: the equal parties consent to a set of terms they will abide by & they agree to enforcement through a mechanism they agree to.
Read 24 tweets
Jun 11
Brief 🧵

I understand 18-year-olds feeling like their lives are over if they aren't accepted onto their top choice degree. Current economic uncertainty copuled with the marketization of the Russell Group as something more than it is will lead them here.

But it's absolutely shameful that adults are feeding this. Many of these types of students can get an excellent education elsewhere but have been fed this notion that they'll be 'held back' if they take their place elsewhere. That's just not true.
(For example, if you were rejected from your first choice law programme, you could apply to the University whose research power comes 3rd only to Oxford & Cambridge.) ImageImage
Read 7 tweets
May 12, 2021
🧵 I have (another) update on my friends' experience with racial discrimination at @ZalesJewelers. A before, I'm going to use this to #TeachBHR #BizHumanRights on reparations. When the @winlawjournal symposium videos are up, you can see me do this here:

This is the letter my friends received from @ZalesJewelers regarding the outcome of his complaint of racial discrimination when he was a customer in one of their stores.

(sorry for the weird cropping... I'm old. Not ancient like @scottjshapiro, but still old.)

As a reminder from the earlier 🧵🧵: all businesses, including @Zales, have a responsibility to respect all internationally recognized human rights (including the right to non-discrimination on the basis of race).

Read 29 tweets
May 11, 2021
We have baby geese on campus -- and 5 more jobs with @EssexLawSchool!

In order of my own personal interest... the first job is for a Lecturer in corporate governance. #CSR #BizHumanRights

We're also hiring a Senior Lecturer interesting in leading in one or more of the following areas: international criminal law, terrorism, international criminal procedure and evidence (including digital evidence), and international environmental law.

Job #3: Senior Lecturer in our Law Clinic:
Read 15 tweets

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