Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Between utopia and affirmation of the status quo

For someone who has been working in the field of so-called strategic litigation against multinational corporations in international (criminal) law and other fields of national law for more than a decade, it is obvious that law often enough benefits the interests of the economically and politically powerful. Still, legal interventions can very well serve as a tool of resistance for communities affected by corporate abuse. Beyond resistance, there is a …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Internationales Recht und kapitalistische Verwertungslogik

Zur politischen Ökonomie der Unternehmensverantwortung

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism: A Radical Perspective on the Role of Law in the Global Political Economy ist ein lautes Buch. Die Autor*in verspricht, auf “radikale” Weise unseren Blick auf das Verhältnis von Wirtschaft, Unternehmen und der Entwicklung des Internationalen Rechts zu verändern; neue Kritik vorzutragen, die sich unter anderem auf bisher ungesichtetes Archivmaterial stützt. Vielleicht bedarf es einer derartigen Ansage, um im ohrenbetäubenden Rauschen des “Corporate Accountability” und …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

International law and capitalist logic of exploitation

On the political economy of corporate responsibility

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism: A Radical Perspective on the Role of Law in the Global Political Economy is a loud book. The author promises to “radically” change our view of the relationship between the economy, business, and the development of international law; to present new critique based, among other things, on previously unseen archive material. Perhaps such an announcement is needed to be heard in the deafening noise of …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Of law(s) and capitalism(s)

The thrive for corporate accountability has given rise to some of the most vivid legal developments since the post-war era. In a liberal logic and from the vantage point of the rule of law, these have generally been championed. Pioneering cases against industrialists in the Nuremberg war criminal trials, a surge of civil liability claims brought against lead firms in the Global North, the recent openness of the European Commission …

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Book ReviewSymposiumThe Corporation, Law and Capitalism

Seeking corporate accountability for human rights

Concealment and congealment in international law

The Corporation, Law and Capitalism provided a fantastically refreshing (if a little depressing) counter-narrative of international (criminal) law’s intimate relationship with capital, and the paradoxical effect this has on attempts to hold corporations accountable for their actions. In the field of business and human rights (BHR), we try to utilise law (in its various forms) as a tool to ensure justice for rightsholders who have been negatively affected by corporate …

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Current Developments

Finally holding the World Bank accountable?

Analyzing Jam v International Financial Corporation from a TWAIL Perspective

The World Bank (WB), a financial institution born in the Bretton Woods Hotel at the end of the Second World War which enjoys far-reaching immunity due to its status as international organisation, must respond to the US justice system. This was the decision issued on February 27, 2019 by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) with a wide margin of 7 votes to 1 in the case of …

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Law and DevelopmentSymposium

Between (Re-)Empowerment and (Hyper-) Conditionality

The Rise of Accountability-Driven Governance in Development Cooperation

Ever since David Trubek and Mark Galanter’s seminal ‘Scholars in Self-Estrangement’, which Philip Dann, during the seminar that gave rise to this post, aptly termed the ‘law and development movement’s defining moment’, there has been intense self-reflection by scholars on the role of law in and for ‘development’ and about the analytical and normative currency of this approach. And in line with the broader ‘turn to history’ in law, this …

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DiscussionResponse

Quo Vadis PMSC?

The way forward in dealing with Private Military and Security Companies: A response to Prof. Sossai’s assessment of the legal side effects of privatized war

In his recent post, Mirko Sossai succinctly summarized three phases of research on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSC). He also named the challenges on the way forward, particularly the need to avoid competing regulatory initiatives and finding an end to impunity of PMSC. This blog post will continue the discussion and focus on five key challenges for legal scholarship focused on PMSC. Misunderstandings of Legal Terminology As Sossai highlighted, …

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Discussion

Combatting the legal side effects of privatized war

What has been achieved, and what still needs to be done in international legal scholarship on Private Military and Security Companies

This contribution continues our journal cooperation with the journal “Swiss Review of International & European Law“. Over the past twenty years a lively debate on the regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in situations of armed conflict has developed. The time has come for an appraisal of the rich literature on the phenomenon. This post which is written in the context of the journal cooperation with the Swiss …

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DiscussionResponse

‘Who may now speak’?

International Lawyers and Religious Actors in Transitional Justice

A response to Ioana Cismas What is and what should be the role of faith-based actors in transitional justice (TJ)? Ioana Cismas enquires whether the engagement of TJ with religious actors strengthens or rather undermines the legitimacy and effectiveness of TJ mechanisms and their ability to lead to (at least a measure of) accountability for past abuses. Well, it depends. Ioana Cismas’s answer is nuanced and takes into account the …

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