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Legal sources in Business and Human Rights. Evolving Dynamics in International and European Law / Martina Buscemi, Nicole Lazzerini, Laura Magi, Deborah Russo

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Autore: Martina Buscemi, Nicole Lazzerini, Laura Magi, Deborah Russo
Titolo del volume: Legal sources in Business and Human Rights. Evolving Dynamics in International and European Law



As the title ‘Legal Sources in Business and Human Rights. Evolving Dynamics in International and European Law’ suggests, this Book engages with the field of Business and Human Rights (B&HRs) from the angle of the theory of the sources of law.

In a context where the globalization of international policy is complicating international relations, multiple actors are involved in law-making. States are no longer the sole catalysts of the law-making process, given that they are increasingly sharing their role with other powerful actors, such as international organizations, NGOs and corporations, some of which are interested in protecting their competitive standing also on the human rights playing field. In this new context, the UN has gained new impetus to continue the process toward clarifying the state of the art concerning the B&HRs legal framework. In the Editors’ view, the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights endorsed by the UN in 2011 are not only the result of a comprehensive framing of the topic but also, and above all, the starting point of some intriguing processes of consolidation of soft principles into effective (domestic or international) legal rules.

Three main dynamics are detected and explored: the emergence of international legal obligations that are also binding on corporations (Part 1); the growing participation of corporations in traditional international standard-setting and law-making processes and, in parallel, the emergence of atypical and heterogeneous law-making processes (Part 2); the formal or substantive hardening, through a multi-layered and multi-player law-making process, of originally soft normative standards that concur to circumvent States’ reluctance to accept binding rules in this field, and to strengthen the effectiveness of soft international regulation (Part 3).

These dynamics highlight how the unwillingness of States to conclude the treaties in this field is not an unsurmountable obstacle to the development of binding rules having their origin in international law. In this respect, examples of possible alternative methods of normative consolidation that are considered in this Book include National Action Plans, domestic statutes, hard and soft EU law instruments, public contracts, and judicial interpretation. The development of general principles of law and the EU doctrine of horizontal direct effect may also be seen in this light.

The legal value of such alternative methods of regulation, their relationship with typical domestic and international sources of law, and their effectiveness in terms of human rights protection are still unsettled questions for both scholars and practitioners. In this respect, the Book follows an inductive methodological approach whereby each Contributor takes stock of different aspects of B&HRs practice in order to explain how and to what extent the evolving dynamics of the normative process in the respective field of analysis affect the legal sources of international and EU law in relation to B&HRs.

The interest in disentangling alternative processes of regulation is far from being of a merely procedural nature. Indeed, the Book highlights the relationship between norms stemming from those processes and the traditional sources of law, as well as the novel effects deriving from the latter as a result of new normative processes. Furthermore, in the background of the Book is the question as to whether the regulations stemming from such new law-making processes effectively protect human rights against corporations’ abuses.

Although a panoply of studies have already been devoted to the impact of corporations’ conduct on human rights, in the Editors’ view the Book provides fresh insights into the dynamics driving the evolution of legal sources in the field of B&HRs.



Casa editrice e luogo di stampa: Brill, Leiden
Anno di pubblicazione:2020
Pagine complessive e costo del volume: pp. xiv - 339; 138 euro

03 novembre 2020
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