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The UN Human Rights Norms for Corporations: The Private Implications of Public International Law


David Kinley


University of Sydney - Faculty of Law

Rachel Chambers


Cloisters Chambers


Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/06
Human Rights Law Review, Vol. 2, 2006

Abstract:     
Though many years in the making, the UN Human Rights Norms for Corporations only registered on the radars of most states, corporations and civil society organizations in August 2003 when they began to move up the ladder of the UN's policy-making processes. Since then, they have been subject to intense, and sometimes intemperate, debate, scrutiny and controversy. A particular legal feature of the deliberations has been the focus on the closely related questions of the legal standing of the Norms in their present format (namely, an imperfect draft, and therefore of no direct legal force), and what they might become (possibly - though not likely soon - a treaty that speaks to corporations but binds states). A potent mix of distrust and suspicion, vested interests, politics and economics has given rise to a great deal of grand-standing and cant concerning these questions and how they might be answered. In this article, the authors explore the history of the Norms and the form and content of the debate that surrounds them, in their attempt to disentangle the legal from the rest. That said, the article also focuses on the real politick of the circumstances in which the Norms now find themselves and it seeks to offer some guidance as to where the Norms - or at least their substance, if not their form - might go from here.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 52

Keywords: human rights, corporations, international law

JEL Classification: K22, K31, K32, K33

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Date posted: November 11, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Kinley, David and Chambers, Rachel, The UN Human Rights Norms for Corporations: The Private Implications of Public International Law. Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 07/06; Human Rights Law Review, Vol. 2, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=944153

Contact Information

David Kinley (Contact Author)
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law ( email )
Faculty of Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
Rachel Chambers
Cloisters Chambers ( email )
London
United Kingdom
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