Regulating the Resource Curse: The Devil versus God in Human Rights Discourse and Operationalizing Remedies

48 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2013

See all articles by Janet Dine

Janet Dine

Queen Mary, University of London, (CCLS)

Date Written: August 12, 2013


Some scholars consider that Human Rights are found in Christian principles particularly in the intractable tension between property rights and community rights; individual rights versus the commons. However Islamic principles also show a similar tension in particular in commercial finance where there is a balance between individuality and community rights. These stresses are endemic in capitalism and Human Rights and particularly in modern economies where structures and hegemony allow powerful actors. The Western world is in the grip of an aggressive capitalist model founded by the modern neo-liberal economists but founded originally in various religions characterised as a devil versus God struggle: material riches versus spiritual riches. Now Multinational Companies are often more powerful than many states leaving the International Human Rights structure in disarray because states are unable to control these actors. Numerous solutions have been mooted; universal jurisdictions; Corporate Social Responsibilities initiatives; voluntary Codes and the Ruggie initiative. This paper will moot a national solution. Resources are often found in the ground in national territories this allows the government to legislate and regulate the issues. As well as this governments should control and regulate all of business enterprises in their jurisdiction, the parent company and all of the subsidiaries. An expanded German Konzernrecht (a system lifting the company veil in particular situations) could allow more transparency and accountability for Multinational companies. Such a system has been legislated in the Balkans and if other jurisdiction could follow this model more sustainable capitalism could ensue. This paper will track other initiatives on company groups to see whether this is possible. Already the German Konzenrecht has been copied in Brazil, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, and Taiwan. The Balkan experiment has added another aspect because it includes extraterritoriality.

Suggested Citation

Dine, Janet, Regulating the Resource Curse: The Devil versus God in Human Rights Discourse and Operationalizing Remedies (August 12, 2013). Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 152/2013, Available at SSRN:

Janet Dine (Contact Author)

Queen Mary, University of London, (CCLS) ( email )

Charterhouse Square
London, EC1M 6AX
United Kingdom

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