Empty Rituals or Workable Models? Towards a Business and Human Rights Treaty

27 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2019 Last revised: 1 Feb 2019

See all articles by Jolyon Ford

Jolyon Ford

ANU College of Law

Claire Methven O'Brien

Danish Institute for Human Rights, Human Rights and Development Department; University of St. Andrews School of Management; University of Groningen, Faculty of Law - International and Constitutional Law

Date Written: August 2, 2017

Abstract

In this article, we do not seek to engage directly with ongoing discussions regarding the potential merits, and conversely the risks, of seeking to conclude a Business and Human Rights (BHR) treaty at all. Instead, our aim is to promote a greater focus, in the context of the BHR treaty debate, on regulatory effectiveness. That is, we believe that proposals for a BHR treaty should be assessed in terms of their likely efficacy, relative to other available forms of regulatory intervention, in advancing effective enjoyment of human rights in the business context. Whereas many contributions to the BHR treaty debate so far have explicitly or implicitly advocated one or other treaty model they have side-stepped the difficult question of how practically effective these models might be in influencing the conduct of duty bearers.

Keywords: business and human rights, treaties, regulation, ritualism, regulatory theory, treaty effectiveness, compliance

Suggested Citation

Ford, Jolyon and Methven O'Brien, Claire, Empty Rituals or Workable Models? Towards a Business and Human Rights Treaty (August 2, 2017). University of New South Wales Law Journal, Vol.40(3),1223-1248; University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper No. 20/2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3206479 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3206479

Jolyon Ford (Contact Author)

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

HOME PAGE: https://law.anu.edu.au/staff/jolyon-ford

Claire Methven O'Brien

Danish Institute for Human Rights, Human Rights and Development Department ( email )

Wilders Plads 8K
Copenhagen K, 1403
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.humanrights.dk/staff/claire-methven-obrien

University of St. Andrews School of Management ( email )

The Gateway
St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/management/

University of Groningen, Faculty of Law - International and Constitutional Law ( email )

Groningen, 9700 AS
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rug.nl/rechten/organization/vakgroepen/int/c-methven-o-brien/cv?lang=en

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