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Courses / Modules / LAWS6143 Business and Human Rights

Business and Human Rights

When you'll study it
Semester 1
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 7
Module lead
Uta Kohl
Academic year

Module overview

Transnational corporations have a significant impact on the level of the enjoyment of human rights and often undermine their effectiveness, particularly in the Global South. This module examines corporate human rights abuses and the legal responses to these abuses. The starting point here is that under conventional human rights law, companies are not subject to human rights duties. Furthermore, particularly in the developing world, many States lack the political will or legal armoury to hold TNCs to account for local environmental damage, health and safety failings or abuses of labour rights. This module critically engages with the state-centric, territorially limited conception of human rights and its inability to redress corporate human rights abuses. It also explores alternative attempts to rectify this failure through the promotion and adoption of CSR frameworks and policy initiatives such as the United Nation’s ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework’ (2011), but also through criminal law and civil litigation. Can victims of corporate human rights abuses from the Global South bring tort claims against the parent company in the Global North?

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