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

Jolyon Ford, Claire Methven O'Brien

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Within the still-emerging field of business and human rights ('BHR'), the question of whether a treaty is required in order meaningfully to address BHR 'governance gaps' is one that is attracting renewed advocacy, commentary and diplomatic activity. By contrast, when the United Nations ('UN') Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights ('UNGPs') were first adopted in 2011, the balance of opinion amongst duty-bearers appears to have been that this issue should be set aside. At any rate, the Human Rights Council appeared to accept at that time that its immediate focus should instead be on promoting national-level implementation of the UNGPs. This was not an unreasonable position since the premise of the UNGPs, and of the UN 'Protect, Respect, Remedy' Framework from which they proceeded, was that they merely re-articulated the contemporary implications of duties arising under existing human rights laws and that no supplementary legal basis either authorising or obliging states to implement them was required.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1223-1248
    JournalUniversity of New South Wales Law Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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