Business and Human Rights: Making the Legally Binding Instrument Work in Public, Private and Criminal Law

41 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2020

See all articles by Anne Peters

Anne Peters

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Sabine Gless

University of Basel

Chris Thomale

Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg; Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften

Marc-Philippe Weller

Heidelberg University - Faculty of Law - Institute for Comparative Law, the Conflict of Laws and International Business Law

Date Written: March 26, 2020

Abstract

The paper’s starting point is the United Nations Human Rights Council working group’s revised draft of a Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, the Activities of Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises of July 2019. The paper examines the draft treaty’s potential to activate and operationalize public law, private law, and criminal law for enforcing human rights. It conceptualizes a complementary approach of these three branches of law in which private and criminal legal enforcement mechanisms stand in the foreground. It argues for linking civil (tort) and criminal liability for harm caused by hands-off corporate policies, complemented by the obligation to interpret managerial duties in conformity with the human rights standards of public international law. The combination of public, private, and criminal law allows effective enforcement of human rights vis-à-vis global corporations.

Keywords: transnational corporations, multinational enterprises, international human rights, corporate social responsibility, extraterritorial jurisdiction, tort law, corporate crime

Suggested Citation

Peters, Anne and Gless, Sabine and Thomale, Chris and Weller, Marc-Philippe, Business and Human Rights: Making the Legally Binding Instrument Work in Public, Private and Criminal Law (March 26, 2020). Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 06-2020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3561482 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3561482

Anne Peters (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law ( email )

Im Neuenheimer Feld 535
69120 Heidelberg, 69120
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.mpil.de

Sabine Gless

University of Basel ( email )

Petersplatz 1
Basel, CH-4003
Switzerland

Chris Thomale

Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften ( email )

Marc-Philippe Weller

Heidelberg University - Faculty of Law - Institute for Comparative Law, the Conflict of Laws and International Business Law ( email )

Augustinergasse 9
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

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