In recent years, the UN Human Rights Council has approved the 'Respect, Protect, and Remedy' Framework and endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These developments have been welcomed widely, but do they adequately address the challenges concerning the human rights obligations of business? This volume of essays engages critically with these important developments. The chapters revolve around four key issues: the process and methodology adopted in arriving at these documents; the source and justification of corporate human rights obligations; the nature and extent of such obligations; and the implementation and enforcement thereof. In addition to highlighting several critical deficits in these documents, the contributing authors also outline a vision for the twenty-first century in which companies have obligations to society that go beyond the responsibility to respect human rights.
Surya Deva is an associate professor at the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong. His primary research interests include business and human rights, constitutional law, globalisation and sustainable development. David Bilchitz is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Johannesburg. He is also Director of the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (SAIFAC).
1. The human rights obligations of business: a critical framework for the future Surya Deva and David Bilchitz; Part I. Process and Methodology: 2. Navigating from 'trainwreck' to being 'welcomed': negotiation strategies and argumentative patterns in the development of the UN Framework Karin Buhmann; 3. The 'Ruggie process': from legal obligations to corporate social responsibility? Carlos Lopez; 4. Treating human rights lightly: a critique of the consensus rhetoric and the language employed by the Guiding Principles Surya Deva; Part II. Source and Justification of Corporate Obligations: 5. A chasm between 'is' and 'ought'? A critique of the normative foundations of the SRSG's Framework and the Guiding Principles David Bilchitz; 6. The corporate responsibility to respect human rights: soft law or not law? Justine Nolan; 7. Putting the business and human rights agenda in context: lessons from the anti-corruption sphere Anita Ramasastry; Part III. Nature and Extent of Corporate Obligations: 8. Business, human rights and gender: a legal approach to external and internal considerations Bonita Meyersfeld; 9. Due diligence and complicity: a relationship in need of clarification Sabine Michalowski; 10. Making noise about silent complicity: the moral inconsistency of the 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' Framework Florian Wettstein; Part IV. Implementation and Enforcement: 11. When human rights 'responsibilities' become 'duties': the extra-territorial obligations of states that bind corporations Daniel Augenstein and David Kinley; 12. Will transnational private regulation close the governance gap? Nicola Jagers; 13. An analysis and practical application of the Guiding Principles on providing remedies with special reference to case studies related to oil companies Tineke Lambooy, Aikaterini Argyrou and Mary Varner; 14. Access to remedy: the United Kingdom experience of MNC tort litigation for human rights violations Richard Meeran.