Health & Safety Rights and Transnational Liability for Harm

151 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2007

See all articles by John C. Philo

John C. Philo

Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice

Date Written: January 2007


Safety and health is a basic human need and when not met, exacts costs that prevent societies from realizing development goals. Injury is increasing as a leading cause of death and disability. As the result of advances in public health knowledge and safety engineering technology, accidents and other injury events are often preventable. Injuries result from identifiable determinants and conditions that create exposure to identifiable hazards. By controlling hazards, the toll of injury can be reduced.

International trade and investment can create conditions that increase or diminish the global injury burden. International institutions and national governments face the question of how to protect safety and health rights and reduce the injury burden in a world of increasingly global business activity. International institutions do not yet provide comprehensive regulation for exported harms. In common law nations, liability through formal law plays an important role in regulating conditions that can lead to injury. In such nations, private law can play an important role in filling segments of the regulatory gap relating to exported harms.

Keywords: Private law, Transnational law, Globliazation, Safety and Health, Workers Rights, Human Rights, Injury Prevention, Foreign Direct Liability, Alien Tort Claims Act, Tort Law

Suggested Citation

Philo, John, Health & Safety Rights and Transnational Liability for Harm (January 2007). Available at SSRN: or

John Philo (Contact Author)

Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice ( email )

2727 Second Avenue, Suite 327
Detroit, MI 48201
United States

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