From General ‘Responsibility’ to Context-Specific ‘Duty’: The Role of the State in Ensuring Corporate Compliance with International Human Rights Law

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Abstract

Under general international law, States have a „responsibility‟ to protect their populations; this responsibility has been translated into a „duty‟ in the human rights field, although carrying similar procedural and substantive obligations. However, the issue of corporate responsibility under international human rights law, particularly after the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011, has brought a specific emphasis on the level of State duties regarding the protection of human rights from the negative impacts of corporate activity. However, one crucial aspect that is still pending is the question of extraterritorial regulation and adjudication, which has recently been at the spotlight in several jurisdictions, and which could greatly benefit from clarification from an authoritative body. In the same guise, several practical issues stand in the way for the appropriate implementation and use of the Guiding Principles under domestic jurisdictions, which need to be taken into consideration to adapt domestic frameworks to the challenges posed by transnational corporate power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-207
Number of pages18
JournalRevista Mineira de Direito Internacional e Negócios Internacionais
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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human rights
responsibility
Law
jurisdiction
international law
obligation
UNO
regulation

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title = "From General ‘Responsibility’ to Context-Specific ‘Duty’: The Role of the State in Ensuring Corporate Compliance with International Human Rights Law",
abstract = "Under general international law, States have a „responsibility‟ to protect their populations; this responsibility has been translated into a „duty‟ in the human rights field, although carrying similar procedural and substantive obligations. However, the issue of corporate responsibility under international human rights law, particularly after the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011, has brought a specific emphasis on the level of State duties regarding the protection of human rights from the negative impacts of corporate activity. However, one crucial aspect that is still pending is the question of extraterritorial regulation and adjudication, which has recently been at the spotlight in several jurisdictions, and which could greatly benefit from clarification from an authoritative body. In the same guise, several practical issues stand in the way for the appropriate implementation and use of the Guiding Principles under domestic jurisdictions, which need to be taken into consideration to adapt domestic frameworks to the challenges posed by transnational corporate power.",
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AB - Under general international law, States have a „responsibility‟ to protect their populations; this responsibility has been translated into a „duty‟ in the human rights field, although carrying similar procedural and substantive obligations. However, the issue of corporate responsibility under international human rights law, particularly after the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011, has brought a specific emphasis on the level of State duties regarding the protection of human rights from the negative impacts of corporate activity. However, one crucial aspect that is still pending is the question of extraterritorial regulation and adjudication, which has recently been at the spotlight in several jurisdictions, and which could greatly benefit from clarification from an authoritative body. In the same guise, several practical issues stand in the way for the appropriate implementation and use of the Guiding Principles under domestic jurisdictions, which need to be taken into consideration to adapt domestic frameworks to the challenges posed by transnational corporate power.

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