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 revidierten 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 …

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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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DiscussionResponse

Of BITs and pieces, resistance and simplification

It has been a pleasure to read to what now amounts to an exchange of views between Prof. Ranjan and Kanad Bagchi on some of the critical issues surrounding the foundations and functioning of international investment law (IIL), especially in relation to ‘Third World’ countries. Being deeply interested in the topic, and a member of the KFG ‘International Rule of Law – Rise or Decline?’ that has been mentioned by …

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DiscussionResponse

A BIT of resistance

A response to Prof. Prabhash Ranjan’s plea for embedded liberalism

In our current framework of post-truth/factual/reality politics, much of the debates surrounding crucial issues of both domestic and international governance are invariably couched in an inflexible, partisan and for most parts, in parochial terms. There is either utter disdain towards opposing perspectives or deliberate display of ignorance for plausible and varying rationalities. Nothing has been as vehemently contested as the role of the state in the economy, financial intermediation and …

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DiscussionResponse

Im „Handelskrieg“ schweigen die Gesetze

Im gegenwärtigen Disput zwischen den USA auf der einen und einer Reihe von anderen WTO-Mitgliedern auf der anderen Seite stößt das Welthandelsrecht an seine Grenzen. Die US-Zölle verstoßen jedenfalls gegen WTO-Recht, auch eine Berufung auf mögliche Ausnahmen erscheint höchst fragwürdig. Allerdings steht auch die Reaktion der EU auf rechtlich wackeligen Beinen. Die US-Zölle und das WTO-Recht Trumps größte Sorge gilt China, forderte er doch bereits im Zuge seines Wahlkampfs die …

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DiscussionKick-off

Will Tariff Wars Unravel the Multilateral Trading System?

History is not unfamiliar with the rigours of tariff wars. Back in the 1930s, retaliatory tariff escalation led to the great depression, which in turn contributed to the Second World War. Leaders of the free world sought to revive the beleaguered global economy through free and fair trade. Years of negotiations aimed at increasing market access and curtailing protectionism culminated in the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The …

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Business and Human RightsSymposium

Extraterritoriale Regulierung als Staatenpflicht

Kontext, Konflikte und Komplementarität

Kontext Zwei Aspekte des von der zwischenstaatlichen Arbeitsgruppe im September 2017 vorgelegten Diskussionspapiers, das die Grundlage des gegenwärtigen Tauziehens um eine verbindliche internationale Regelung der Unternehmensverantwortung für Menschenrechte bildet, sind aus der Perspektive des extraterritorialen Menschenrechtsschutzes von besonderer Relevanz. Erstens knüpft das Diskussionspapier den räumlichen Anwendungsbereich des anvisierten Instruments an Menschenrechtsverletzungen durch Unternehmen, die auf dem Territorium und/oder innerhalb des Kompetenzbereichs („jurisdiction“) des relevanten Staates stattfinden. Ein vergleichbarer Ansatz findet …

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Business and Human RightsSymposium

Which Business?

Controversies about the Scope of Application of a Future Treaty on Business and Human Rights

The United Nations treaty process, the current endeavor in the open-ended working group to draft a legally binding instrument to “regulate, in international human rights law, the activities of transnational corporations and other business enterprises”, causes much trouble and controversy.

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Business and Human RightsSymposium

Human Rights Due Diligence

An Exercise of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction?

In its recently released General Comment (GC) No 24 the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) makes a crucial point: It establishes that regulation imposing Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD), although having potential extraterritorial effects and impacts, does not imply the exercise of extraterritorial jurisdiction. But is this really the case?

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Business and Human RightsSymposium

A Future Treaty on Business and Human Rights – Its Main Functions

The state-based paradigm of international human rights law poses a significant challenge to modern day human rights problems as traditional mechanisms largely fail to adequately address corporate conduct and to respond to corporate human rights violations. A prominent judge has therefore described the phenomenon of corporate human rights abuses as “the human rights issue of the 21st century”.

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