Global business and human rights: the UN “norms on the responsibility of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rights” - a requiem

Bachmann, Sascha and Miretski, Pini (2012) Global business and human rights: the UN “norms on the responsibility of transnational corporations and other business enterprises with regard to human rights” - a requiem. Deakin Law Review, 17 (1). ISSN 1321-3660

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Abstract

On 11 June 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council endorsed the ‘Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights’ as a new set of guiding principles for global business designed to provide a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity. This outcome was preceded by an earlier unsuccessful attempt by a Sub-Commission of the UN Commission on Human Rights to win approval for a set of binding corporate human rights norms, the so called “Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Regard to Human Rights”. This article identifies and discusses the reasons why the Norms eventually failed to win approval by the then UN Commission on Human Rights. This discussion is important in order to understand the difficulties in establishing binding ‘hard law’ obligations for Transnational Corporations with regard to human rights within the wider framework of international law. It is crucial to understand possible motives as well as the underlying rationale which lead first to the adoption and then the rapid abandoning of the Norms: such a discussion will also shed light on the prospects and trends of concepts of indirect, vague voluntarism of business human rights compliance, as well as on prospects of finding alternative solutions, and finally the rationale and effect of the ‘Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights’.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Corporate Human Rights Litigation, Corporate Human Rights, Ruggie Guidelines, UN Norms on Corporate Human Rights, Corporate Responsibility
Subjects:M Law > M221 Business and Commercial Law
N Business and Administrative studies > N120 International Business studies
M Law > M200 Law by Topic
M Law > M130 Public International Law
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Law School
ID Code:6272
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:26 Sep 2012 21:45
Last Modified:06 Dec 2013 09:23

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