The Identification and Role of International Legislative Duties in a Contested Area: Must Switzerland Legislate in Relation to 'Business and Human Rights'
Schweizerische Zeitschrift für internationales und europäisches Recht (SZIER) / Swiss Review of International and European Law, no. 25 (2015), 563-589.
19 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2016 Last revised: 7 Feb 2018
Date Written: December 1, 2015
Does Switzerland have specific legal obligations to adopt legislation related to "Business and Human Rights" as has been argued by some? Must the Swiss domestic legislator compel corporations to take precautionary steps to avoid human rights abuses resulting from corporate activities? Based on a suggested conceptualisation of international legislative duties and their significance in the contemporary international legal system, the article identifies the challenges related to pinning down the precise scope of international legislative duties in the particularly contested and loosely defined area of "Business and Human Rights". Despite these challenges, the analysis suggests that the Swiss legislator is indeed obliged to take further steps to implement Switzerland's duties to protect against corporate human rights abuse. At the same time, there remains significant discretion in how exactly Swiss law-makers decide to regulate the behaviour of non-State actors in the field of "Business and Human Rights".
Keywords: international law in domestic jurisdictions, Business and Human Rights, duty to legislate, Switzerland
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