IL in Pandemic TimesSymposium

Beauty and the virus

Fashion brands, the UNGPs and (imagined) solidarity in pandemic times

Many parts of the world are in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As most of Europe was hit hard by the virus and its rapid spread, countries implemented lockdown measures, varying in reach, style and enforcement, but with a main commonality to close down facilities deemed non-essential. Consequently, apparel stores had to close their doors and customers have been restricted to online-shopping, resulting in a vast drop in demand. …


Internet Governance ForumSymposium

Free speech in the age of online content moderation

Content moderation is not a novelty in the media sector. As content providers, traditional media outlets like televisions and newspaper have always selected the information to broadcast or disclose. Nevertheless, when social media companies are involved in this activity, content moderation raises serious concerns. In the last years, the digital environment has been playing a crucial role in promoting the sharing of opinion and ideas on a global scale. Nevertheless, …


Current Developments

Only a small step forward

The shy contribution of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement to the ISDS reform

On June 30th, 2019, the European Union signed a trade agreement and an investment protection agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. This is the third time the EU has used its exclusive competence in the field of foreign direct investment (FDI) to conclude an investment protection agreement (IPA) vis-à-vis an extra-European country, after CETA’s investment chapter and the EU-Singapore IPA. With this “new generation” of investment treaties, the EU …


Current Developments

Handschlag oder Kniefall?

Ein Kommentar zum Revised Draft Treaty on Business and Human Rights

Am 16.07.2019 hat die UN-Arbeitsgruppe „Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights“ (OEIWG) einen überarbeiteten Entwurf [revised draft (RD)] für einen Vertrag zum Thema Unternehmen und Menschenrechte veröffentlicht. Es handelt sich hierbei um eine zweite, überarbeitete Version, nachdem der sog. zero draft (ZD) exakt ein Jahr zuvor veröffentlicht wurde. Der neue Entwurf enthält einige weitgehende Zugeständnisse an Industriestaaten und Unternehmen, die …


Customary International LawSymposium

Corporate liability under customary international law

Is the tail wagging the dog?

Human rights and business issues are far more complex than is often considered in most scholarly writings on the topic. The following is an example of the complexity, taken from the case of Araya v Nevsun Resources 2017 BCCA 401, which is currently winding its way through the Canadian courts. The company is alleged to have aided and abetted serious human rights abuses, primarily conducted by the government of Eritrea. …