Sunday, June 16, 2024

Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe: Part 5: Barnali Choudhury--"BHR Developments in Canada: Targeting Low Hanging Fruit"

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I am posting and providing brief reflections on the essays that make up the excellent new online symposium organized by the marvelous Caroline Omari Lichuma and Lucas Roorda and appearing on the blog site of the Business and Human Rights Law Journal. Entitled Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe. The essays (and the symposium) means to expand the conversation about human rights from out of its hub in the UN apparatus in Geneva and begin exploring in more depth the sometimes extraordinary developments occurring outside the highest reaches of elite curation in the Global North.

The fourth of the essays is Barnali Choudhury--"BHR Developments in Canada: Targeting Low Hanging Fruit" .

Barnali Choudhury is a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School and Director of the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security. She is the author of numerous books, including The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: A Commentary (Edward Elgar, 2023), articles and book chapters. She is a member of the Academic Circle on the Right to Development, a member of the Editorial Board of the Business and Human Rights Journal, and a board member of Ecojustice, an environmental NGO.

Barnali Choudhury's contribution follows below and may be accessed as originally posted here. Ling makes the following points which are worthy of some reflection:

1. Choudhury starts by comparing the Canadian with the European approaches to the legalization of business and human rights duties (of States) and responsibilities (of enterprises and others). "As the EU celebrates the adoption of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), advancements in the realm of business and human rights in Canada appear more restrained. Canada’s most recent notable development in this area is the enactment of the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, colloquially known as Canada’s Modern Slavery Act (“MSA”). ("BHR Developments in Canada: Targeting Low Hanging Fruit"). Choudhury notes that even this comparatively modest effort was long delayed (compared, for example) to the U.K., but also wonders, what, exactly, Canada has managed to accomplish. The MSA applies to Canadian public companies of a certain size and requires  reports on steps taken to prevent or reduce forced or child labor in their supply chains and business. Failure to report can result in civil fines.

2. Choudhury suggests that one of the values of the legislation is as a sort of signaling: "The new legislation aligns Canada with several other jurisdictions such as the UK, the US (specifically California), and Australia, which regulate labor issues through reporting requirements." (Ibid.). Another is as a sign; in this case a sign that this sort of disclosure regulation--functionally differentiated within business and human rights--has an evolutionary trajectory. "Canada’s MSA improves upon previous approaches by enforcing reporting obligations through fines for non-compliance and by expanding the scope to include child labor." (Ibid.). Yet Choudhury notes that given the already well defined ends of that trajectory--the EU's CSDDD--the Canadian effort "falls short" (Ibid.). And, indeed, given the comprehensiveness of next generation legalization of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights--and its absorption into the policy apparatus of the State, there is very little here. 

Corporations perpetrate human rights violations in areas that extend beyond forced and child labor, meaning that Canada’s MSA is inadequate in capturing most human rights abuses. Additionally, the legislation overlooks the climate change impacts of corporate activities, despite fossil fuel companies – many headquartered in Canada – being among the leading contributors to climate change, with cascading human rights implications. (Ibid.).

Judged by European metrics, Canada has gone to great lengths to produce  bathos. And yet one wonders whether, applying a different metric, Canada's legislation might be viewed in a more positive light. It is possible, for example, that Canada prefers a hybrid system--with narrow functionally differentiated interventions  in some areas, and a guidance and nudging regime in others.  That, in turn, might be grounded on the political decision that legalization need not be comprehensive in the European style. That would reflect a position more inclined to regulation than that of the United States (see discussion here: Brief Reflections on the 2024 U.S Government National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct), but far less than Europe. All of these positions are plausibly correct applications of the UNGP. 

3. Yet in the process of analysis Choudhury asks the precisely right questions; (1) ought the focus of legislation to be transparency or accountability?; might it be both?; (2) are 2nd pillar due diligence regimes better suited to a legislative overlay or can be succeed via policy and nudging techniques?; (3) how much discretion ought a company to be given in developing mandatory (or guidance based) compliance regimes (in the form of due diligence mandates?; (4) how ought accountability to be assessed? For Choudhury, the Canadian effort “are unlikely, on their own, to induce meaningful changes in corporate behavior." (Ibid.). The CSDDD rather than the approach of the United States ought to be the lodstar guiding Canadian reform. Perhaps.


Saturday, June 15, 2024

Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe: Part 4: Jernej Letnar Černič--"Business and Human Rights in the Western Balkans"

 

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I am posting and providing brief reflections on the essays that make up the excellent new online symposium organized by the marvelous Caroline Omari Lichuma and Lucas Roorda and appearing on the blog site of the Business and Human Rights Law Journal. Entitled Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe. The essays (and the symposium) means to expand the conversation about human rights from out of its hub in the UN apparatus in Geneva and begin exploring in more depth the sometimes extraordinary developments occurring outside the highest reaches of elite curation in the Global North.

The third of the essays is Jernej Letnar Černič--"Business and Human Rights in the Western Balkans." 

Jernej Letnar Černič is an Expert in Human Rights Law, Business and Human Rights, and the Rule of Law. Jernej is a Full Professor of Human Rights and Constitutional Law at the European Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Government and European Studies of the New University (Ljubljana/Kranj, Slovenia). He is also a Visiting Professor of Law at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) in Germany and the Riga Graduate School of Law in Latvia. He is an author of »Corporate accountability under socio-economic rights«, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2020. His studies have been cited in the reports of the United Nations, the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe in decisions of the Slovenian Constitutional Court and academic studies from all parts of the world. He has been active in various roles in Slovenian and global civil society, participating in numerous domestic and international humanitarian projects.

Jernej Letnar Černič's contribution follows below and may be accessed as originally posted here. Černič considers the Eastern peripheries of Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia), that once were the Western peripheries of the Ottomans, and before that the world spaces of the Greek-Roman Empire (Dalmatia, Macedonia, Epirus; Moesia Superior). Černič makes the following points which are worthy of some reflection:

1. Peripheries, especially in Europe, tend to be ignored until they trigger something greater elsewhere--an assassination, large scale clan and ethnic conflicts, and the like.  As borderlands, they tend to be restive and resist imperial homogenization--whether Ottomanization or Western Europeanization, or variations of Pan-Slavism. The region, in many ways, serves as a sort of first tier subaltern within an Empire but not quite attached to it in an inevitably reliable way. It is expected to conform, but perhaps more as an afterthought ("So far, little attention has been paid to business and human rights in the Western Balkans. The issues have not been at the center of discussion in the field. Accordingly, not much has been written on business and human rights, challenges, and possibilities for reform in the Western Balkans." ("Business and Human Rights in the Western Balkans")). In the language of the 19th century, the regional states are the poor relations to the respectable middle classes of the rest of Europe (and here) burdened with the responsibility for defining and enforcing an idealization of its notions of respectability, much like business enterprises are now burdened with the responsibilities of respectability in the form of the standards of human rights the realization of which remains elusive for states. That makes the issue of human rights in greater Dalmatia -Macedonia-Moesia so interesting, especially after centuries of invasion, settler migrations, and general upheavals.    

2. The European periphery remains disordered, rebellious--and violent. It produces its own diasporas as tokens and memories of that violence and instability. And, like other peripheries, its institutional organs and their elites indulges, sometimes astutely, in playing off empires against each other. "The region has been embedded mainly in the European market, with many EU-based companies having subsidiaries, suppliers, and other business partners. On the other hand, some countries, such as Serbia, have received substantial Chinese and Russian investments." ("Business and Human Rights in the Western Balkans"). 

3. That provides the context for the issue of human rights on the frontier. And on the frontier one understands that things are rougher than perhaps can be admitted in the heart of the metropolis: "Business-related human rights concerns in the regions are plentiful, from human trafficking, modern slavery, and poor health and safety conditions to failure to provide a living wage" ("Business and Human Rights in the Western Balkans"). These though might serve as the stick against which both prosperity and the size of the diaspora communities might be measured. And the response is what one might expect on the frontier--formal action enough to satisfy superior powers, but enough play in the application of these standards to satisfy the realities of communal assessments of what it takes to survive. "Western Balkans countries introduced formal standards of the rule of law, constitutional democracy, and pluralism. They have introduced modern concepts and created current state institutions based on the rule of law and constitutional democracy. Nonetheless, a coherence gap exists between formal standards and their implementation in practice."("Business and Human Rights in the Western Balkans").

4. How might one measure this gap?  Černič looks to the creation of state institutions and legal frameworks for state owned enterprises. He looks at the failure to develop UNGP inspired National Action Plans. He sees a positive development in the start of National Baseline Assessments on Business and Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia. And he notes the small number of special instances brought in the region under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. That is a fair way to gauge compliance as a legal and cultural matter. And what Černič finds is this: "Accordingly, the capacity and willingness to implement the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in Western Balkans countries has been lukewarm in the past." ("Business and Human Rights in the Western Balkans").

5. But things may be changing as its elites become more intimately embedded within the larger cultural currents and expectations of elite European collectives--to be, as Nietzsche suggested in Beyond Good and Evil good Europeans ("Indeed, I could think of sluggish, hesitating races, which even in our rapidly moving Europe, would require half a century ere they could surmount such atavistic attacks of patriotism and soil-attachment, and return once more to reason, that is to say, to "good Europeanism." Beyond Good & Evil ¶ 241). Černič notes examples of a pan-Europeanism: "Private companies and chambers of commerce have promoted business and human rights standards in much of the region by advising and organizing events. International organizations such as OSCE have regularly organized events on business and human rights. As such, businesses in the region have been gradually introducing business and human rights standards throughout the supply chain. Regional business associations have been educating their members concerning human rights due diligence in their supply chain." ("Business and Human Rights in the Western Balkans"). 

6. For Černič al of this suggests a way forward. This requires the embrace of 4 steps: (1) the positive and well directed engagement of professional networks on business and human rights in the region; (2) the strengthening of rule of law structures grounded in "leading by example" strategies among leading public and private forces in the region; (3) the strategic investment in capacity building within a loop of public actors, civil society. and business; and (4) the intervention of European institutions and international organizations more pro-actively. Hope is placed on the ability of the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive to drive formal and functional change. Nonetheless, the lesson of the Eastern frontier in Europe might be best not left forgotten. To that end the Europeans have th same challenge here that they face in Ukraine--they must commit to the incorporation of these refions within Europe, or they can continue to treat them as almost-European subalterns. The latter choice will have profound effects, and not just with the business of human rights. 

 

 

Friday, June 14, 2024

From a Distance: Reflections on German Law and Legal Culture. A Conversation with Russell Miller Monday, 24 June 2024, 19:00 CEST (hybrid event)

 

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I am delighted to pass along information about the followig event:

From a Distance: Reflections on German Law and Legal Culture. A Conversation with Russell Miller

 

Monday, 24 June 2024, 19:00 CEST (hybrid event)

 

Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Leibniz Saal (Entrance Markgrafenstrasse), Jägerstrasse 22-23, 10117 Berlin

 

With his 'Introduction to German Law and Legal Culture' (Cambridge University Press, June 2024), Russell Miller offers students, comparative law scholars, and practitioners an insightful and innovative survey of the German legal system and the varied and colourful fabric of German legal culture. Miller’s engaging and pluralistic portrayal of one of the world’s most influential and frequently modelled legal systems also prompts reflection on the state of German law in transatlantic and global contexts, in an ever more fragmented and polarized world.

 

A roundtable conversation with Philipp Dann (Humboldt University), Michaela Hailbronner (University of Münster), András Jakab (Paris Lodron University Salzburg), Ralf Michaels (Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, Hamburg), Russell Miller (Washington and Lee University), and Vera Weissflog (Federal Ministry of Justice), hosted by Alexandra Kemmerer (MPIL).

 

An event of the MPIL Berlin Office, in cooperation with Max Planck Law. A reception is to follow. 

 

For in-person participation, please register until 21 June at berlin@mpil.de

 

The event can also be joined as a zoom webinar. A link will be forwarded after registration with Max Planck Law.

 

 

Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe: Part 3: Keren Adams--"A Race to the Top? Progress and pitfalls of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act"

 

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I will be posting and providing brief reflections on the essays that make up the excellent new online symposium organized by the marvelous Caroline Omari Lichuma and Lucas Roorda and appearing on the blog site of the Business and Human Rights Law Journal. Entitled Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe. The essays (and the symposium) means to expand the conversation about human rights from out of its hub in the UN apparatus in Geneva and begin exploring in more depth the sometimes extraordinary developments occurring outside the highest reaches of elite curation in the Global North.

The second of the essays is Keren Adams--"A Race to the Top? Progress and pitfalls of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act."

Keren Adams is a Legal Director at the Human Rights Law Centre in Melbourne, where she leads the organisation’s corporate accountability work. Keren has co-authored several reports on Australia’s modern slavery laws and has acted as an advisor to the Australian Government on the implementation of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Keren Adams's contribution follows below and may be accessed as originally posted here. Ling makes the following points which are worthy of some reflection:

1. Adams focuses on the Australian Modern Slavery Act, a pioneering  disclosure provision enacted in 2018. As a regulatory measure it somewhere between the guidance models of Japan and Taiwan, and the mandatory measures increasingly utilized in Europe. Like all halfway measures it has proven to be exasperating both for those who prefer guidance measures and those whose taste run to mandatory measures overseen by an active administrative apparatus within enterprises and in the public sector. The exasperation has many sources. Adams identifies two of the major ones. First, it is impossible to measure the effectiveness of a purely disclosure provision, where data generated (the reports) are difficult to true to effectiveness (rates and severity of conditions and incidence of modern forms of slavery in Australia. What cannot be effec6ively measures quickly devolves into the performance of box checking. The second is that there appears to be no effective (or effectively measurable) sanctions mechanisms.  The lack of sanctions affects the measure in two ways--by making it harder to enforce compliance with the reporting obligation and by making it impossible to sanction the conditions reported either in the market or through administrative measures. 

2. Adams points to the market and its failures as a principal cause of the failures of transparency regimes driven by markets or non-state organs (for a consideration HERE). "These findings indicate profound weaknesses in the MSA as it currently stands. Compliance relies entirely on market forces: consumers, civil society organisations and the media are expected to monitor disclosure efforts by companies and expose those that are underperforming." ("A Race to the Top? Progress and pitfalls of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act"). To those ends a compliance-oriented public administrative apparatus, one tied to a parallel internal enterprise compliance apparatus might work better. "Perhaps most critically, with no independent body to oversee the law, it is very difficult to know whether companies are including accurate information in their statements, or whether key information is being left out." (Ibid.). Yet even that is impossible where the only obligation is transparency "rather than [on] the underlying actions companies should be taking, [that] inevitably results in many companies taking a superficial approach to mitigating modern slavery risks." (Ibid). 

3. The question, then, is how to reform the Modern Slavery Act.  

A. One way toward reform would focus on reporting compliance, the better specification of data for harvesting, and a more robust system of administrative measures as nudges depending on the data reported. The essential feature of this reform variant would be to both rely on the market for  disciplinary measures (stock price, cost of capital (eg risk to lend), and to rely on the state for policy based nudging. Of course, a system of publicized civil penalties for reporting failures might also be useful. 

B. Ironically, another way to approach reform is to do nothing.  By doing nothing, Australian companies might be more effectively bound up in the mandatory and guidance based measures of Australia's trading partners in Asia and in the EU. But that too provides only partial  effects. And it would cede Australia's regulatory destiny to others in a way that would cement its subaltern status within global trade circles.  

C. Adams opts for a third pathway toward reform, one grounded in an "independent Statutory Review of the MSA undertaken in 2023 (Review). . . [and its]  30 recommendations for changes to strengthen the legislation, including lowering the turnover threshold for reporting, introducing penalties for non-compliance and, most importantly, introducing a requirement that companies undertake human rights due diligence on their operations and supply chains." (Ibid.).  Convergence with European mandatory measures makes sense, if convergence was a conscious policy objective of reform.  But it may be telling that Modern Slavery remains a functionally differentiated byway in the great stream of supply chain due diligence within which it may be located.

What matters, though, is the insights from experience. Disclosure without consequences provides a very thin regulatory reed, whether that regulatory scheme is anchored in the market or administered through a public administrative apparatus (my discussion here). Indeed as the UNGP teaches, rights or responsibilities allocated without allocating a parallel and equal set of remedial rights amounts to very little indeed.

 

 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

“Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act” Passed by Congress and Sent to President Biden

 

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 The House has passed a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Todd Young (R-IN) to enhance U.S. support for Tibet and promote dialogue between the People’s Republic of China and the Dalai Lama toward a peaceful resolution of the long-standing dispute between Tibet and China. The Resolve Tibet Act first passed the House last February, clearing the Senate last month before today’s final procedural vote. It now goes to President Biden, who is expected to sign it into law. (Office of Jim McGovern, Press Release 12 June 2024)

 The ACt is meant to further promote and enhance U.S. policy promoting what is defined as Tibetan self-determination. It is especially focused on dialog between the Dalai Lama and Chinese authorities--something unlikely to happen. But in an age of narrative conflict, where gesture and social media battlefronts can more effectively undermine and demoralize, as well as construct solidarity and raise passions, these sorts of efforts have value in contests that define the relationship between great states. 

The text of the Act follows below and may be accessed HERE.


Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe: Part 2: Bonny Ling--"Taiwan: Business and Human Rights on the Margins of the UN System"

 

I will be posting and providing brief reflections on the essays that make up the excellent new online symposium organized by the marvelous Caroline Omari Lichuma and Lucas Roorda and appearing on the blog site of the Business and Human Rights Law Journal. Entitled Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe. The essays (and the symposium) means to expand the conversation about human rights from out of its hub in the UN apparatus in Geneva and begin exploring in more depth the sometimes extraordinary developments occurring outside the highest reaches of elite curation in the Global North.

The first of the essays is  Bonnie Ling--Taiwan: Business and Human Rights on the Margins of the UN System.

Dr. Bonny Ling is Senior Non-Resident Fellow with the University of Nottingham Taiwan Research Hub. She is a Global Taiwan Institute Scholar and Visiting Professor at the School of Law, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, where she teaches business and human rights. She is Co-Founder of the Taiwan Project for Business and Human Rights, a project dedicated to increase knowledge and build the local capacity needed to address business and human rights issues in Taiwan. She is also the Executive Director, Work Better Innovations, and a Research Fellow at the Institute for Human Rights and Business.

Bonny Ling's contribution follows below and may be accessed as originally posted here. Ling makes the following points which are worthy of some reflection:

1. Not all regions with a strong adherence to markets driven economic activity are moving toward a model grounded in legalization of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights.  As Ling notes, the Taiwanese "draft guidelines . . .  on respecting human rights in the supply chain [《臺灣供應鏈企業尊重人權指引 》草案]. . . .  Once out, Taiwan will join Japan in using a guidance model—over mandatory human rights due diligence laws as is favoured in European countries—to set expectations for the corporate responsibility to respect human rights in a business context." (Taiwan: Business and Human Rights on the Margins of the UN System). This variation in approaches was contemplated by the UN Guiding Principles which recognized both  pathways to aligning a State duty to protect with a corporate responsibility to Respect human rights (see discussion in my UNGP Commentary here and here; generally here). One might read a preference in the travaux préparatoire of the SRSG, but the SRSG's own principle of principled pragmatism produced a "bigger compliance tent", and one that might evolve with the times in distinct places (eg, Taiwan) and spaces (eg, supply chains).

2. There appears to be a proportional relationship between guidelines based approaches and the nudging effects of policy that are written into National Action Plans (NAPs). Moreover, NAPs appear to be directed toward market integration across regulatory platforms. That is, and especially for crossroads like Taiwan, it is necessary to be flexible enough to satisfy the prerequisites of multiple regulatory platforms  for end points in their supply and value chains. That points not just to Europe and its own peculiar regulatory compliance systems, but also to the United States and its more markets privileging systems, and to the Mainland of China with its emerging Socialist compliance regimes.  Again, Ling notes: "Taiwan is revising its National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) [臺灣企業與人權國家行動計畫], released on Human Rights Day (10 December) in 2020 to underscore the commitment of the then administration to “aid Taiwan’s efforts to become integrated in international trade and supply chains.” (Taiwan: Business and Human Rights on the Margins of the UN System).

3. The object, then, is for Taiwan to find "creative ways to localise international norms and standards into its domestic legal framework and participate as a responsible global player embedded de facto in the global economic and political system."  (Taiwan: Business and Human Rights on the Margins of the UN System). Ling focuses on the localization of the UNGP, with respect to which Taiwan has been interlinking its efforts with those of Europe. Facilitating compliance with EU approaches to legalizing business respect for human rights is good for Taiwanese business ("Pushing Taiwan to be better aligned with the UNGPs is also a practical strategy to facilitate investments and mitigate the risks of Taiwanese goods running afoul of mandatory human rights due diligence requirements that have emerged in Europe" Ibid.). Ling notes, in that respect, the strength of the influence, and nudging power, of the European approaches to business human rights compliance ("The consultation on the draft guidelines for Taiwanese enterprises held in April 2024 opened with the CSDDD serving as a reminder to participant businesses that their global operating context is changing." Ibid.).

4. Most interesting, perhaps, is the power of the idea of the UNGP (my discussion in Commentary here).  Adoption of the language if the UNGP is understood to signal adherence to the underlying normative structures with which the UNGP might be thought to be infused--that is of liberal democratic sensibilities. "For Taiwan, the uptake of the UNGPs is a matter of adaption to a new reality of doing business with like-minded economic and political allies with higher expectations of human rights and environmental due diligence." (Ibid.). Against this one might interpose the language of Socialist human rights, one in which the ideal of human rights embeds Chinese Marxist-Leninist characteristics (see my discussion here). The language, terminology and idea of the UNGP, then, might be understood as a means of distancing Taiwanese practices form those of the Marxist-Leninist Mainland. "Taiwan’s draft guidelines and revisions of its NAP is a clear articulation of its commitment to be more closely aligned with liberal democracies and their economies. It is part of its broader efforts to make friends in the world at a time of growing geopolitical uncertainty." (Ibid.). The UNGP, then, in some places, can be understood as a political instrument as well as a framework respecting its subject.

5. Lastly, Ling makes the point that the UNGP represent a system in which some have a place at the table and others do not. Taiwan must approach the UNGP from the outside; but then so must the great majority of us who are neither permitted to participate meaningfully as states, as enterprises, or as civil society organs. Taiwan's disability is formal and formally performed within the performance spaces of international organizations. But disability for others is a function of prominence, capacity and networked interconnection. In either case, it presents a curiosity within the construction of a narrative of deep consultation, one that requires these rights bearers or controllers to "understand and localise the UNGPs outside the UN system." (Ibid.). For most rights bearers and many rights controllers, that is the fundamental essence of the UNGP as an applied system--its arborescence produces hierarchical structures that make it possible both to construct and apply a human rights Brussels Effect and a human rights democratic centralism.

6. All of this makes Taiwan an interesting place and space for the naturalization of the UNGP, its construction as idea and structure. Taiwan is also a quite useful place for understanding how the UNGP system--however it is interpreted and applied--acts on those spaces at the crossroads of regulatory and economic (production) pathways. Here one finds the greatest use of the flexibility built into the UNGP, with respect to its interpretation. The great states, and the largest enterprises and most well embedded civil society actors have a freedom to find and impose their version of the "best" interpretation of the UNGP and the underlying human rights law-norm structures the UNGP seek to advance. The subaltern rarely has the luxury of that sort of freedom; but it does have the flexibility to be be nimble whlie attempting to remain true to themselves.




Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe: Part 1--"Setting the Stage"

 


I am delighted to pass along to interested readers an excellent new online symposium organized by the marvelous Caroline Omari Lichuma and Lucas Roorda and appearing on the blog site of the Business and Human Rights Law Journal. Entitled Symposium on Business and Human Rights (BHR) Regulatory Initiatives Outside Europe, it means to expand the conversation about human rights from out of its hub in the UN apparatus in Geneva and begin exploring in more depth the sometimes extraordinary developments occurring outside the highest reaches of elite curation in the global North.
To take stock of these developments, we have organized a blog symposium around BHR developments outside of the EU. We are very grateful to have received 12 excellent and thought-provoking contributions by a diverse group of authors, which offer insightful and timely analyses of BHR regulatory developments (primarily) outside Europe and hopefully spur critical reflection among the BHRJ Blog readership on the dominant narratives of transnational business regulation. The contributions will be published on a daily basis. * * * This symposium seeks to do more than take stop of developments in BHR regulation. It also marks the launch of the new BHRJ Blog. Over the past months, we as blog editors (Caroline Lichuma and Lucas Roorda) have worked on a new website designed to facilitate more variety in the types of contributions the blog can support, catalyze more discussion in the BHR field and feature an even greater diversity of voices.

 The cumulative product of these engagements is neither to suggest the imperatives of revolutionary transformation, nor to paint a picture of a global discourse on human rights that suggest accumulating differences producing incomprehensible divides between pathways of development of human collectives around notions of the imaginaries of organizing societies around the "rights" of "humans." Indeed, the opposite seems to be true--that the global communities are all now deeply considering and thinking through engagement with human rights; in a sort of extraordinary turn from a century ago, it is human rights discussion that tends to drive much of the global conversation.

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The point, though, and an important one that Omari Lichuma and Roorda seek to make, is that these conversations ought not to be understood either as peripheral or evidence of false consciousness at least form the perspective of the imaginaries of the "hub." Rather, they form an integral part of global conversations on the theory, interpretation, and application of the many streams of human rights pathways that are now not merely evolving but which play an increasingly important role in the organization and domestic legal orders. These, then, are views, that ought to have a space at the table in Geneva, as global theory, norms, standards, and practices are discussed as a global framework for localized application. To ignore them, or to seek, without more to dismiss and supplant them, may prove to be a disservice for those committed to the human rights enterprise as a framework for common international structures of conduct norms; or for the development of multiple pathways toward common objectives that one might have thought was bound up in the very European motto/aspiration of "unity in diversity."

The initial essay authored by Omari Luchuma and Roorda, "Setting" that Stage" follows below (and may be accessed HERE in the original). It includes a summary of the twelve (12) contributions that will follow. Contributors include Bonny Ling; Keren Adams; Jernej Letnar Černič; Barnali Choudhury; Larry Catá Backer; Jonathan Kabre; Cristine Lucena and Nathalie Laureano; Lisa LaPlante; Erika George and Enrique Martinez; Pradeep Narayanan, Dheeraj and Jhumki Dutta; and Kazuko Ito.

 


 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

An Interview with Dr. Chen Jian: "Zhou Enlai: A Life" | U.S.-China Perception Monitor

 

[Editor’s Note: CHEN Jian is the Director of the NYU Shanghai-ECNU Center on Global History, Economy and Culture,  Distinguished Global Network Professor of History at NYU Shanghai and NYU, Hu Shih Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, Zijiang Distinguished Visiting Professor at East China Normal University, and  Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center. Prior to joining NYU Shanghai, he was Michael J. Zak Professor of History for US-China Relations at Cornell University,  Philippe Roman Professor of History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics, and visiting research professor at the University of Hong Kong (2009-2013). He holds a PhD from Southern Illinois University and an MA from Fudan University and East China Normal University in Shanghai.

Chen is a leading scholar in modern Chinese history, the history of Chinese-American relations, and Cold War international history. Among his many publications are China’s Road to the Korean War (1994), The China Challenge in the 21st Century: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy (1997), Mao’s China and the Cold War (2001), and Zhou Enlai: A Life (2024). With Odd Arne Westad, he coauthors The Great Transformation: China’s Road from Revolution to Reform (forthcoming in October 2024).]



[编者注:陈兼是上海纽约大学—华东师范大学全球历史、经济与文化研究中心主任,上海纽约大学暨纽约大学全球体系杰出历史学讲座教授,康奈尔大学胡适荣誉讲座教授,华东师范大学紫江特聘访问教授,伍德罗·威尔逊中心全球研究员(Global Fellow)。在加入上海纽约大学之前,他曾担任康奈尔大学中美关系史Michael J. Zak讲座教授,伦敦政治经济学院历史与国际事务Philippe Roman讲座教授,并在香港大学担任杰出研究访问教授(2009年至2013年)。他获得南伊利诺伊大学博士学位,以及上海复旦大学和华东师范大学硕士学位。

陈兼是现代中国史、中美关系史和冷战国际史的知名学者。他的著作包括《中国走向朝鲜战争之路》( China’s Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation, 1994年)、《21世纪的中国挑战:对美国外交政策的影响》(The China Challenge in the Twenty-first Century: Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy ,1997年)、《毛泽东时代的中国和冷战》(Mao’s China and the Cold War ,2001年)和《周恩来传》(Zhou Enlai: A Life, 2024年)。他与文安立(Odd Arne Westad)合著的《伟大的转变:中国从革命到改革之路》(The Great Transformation: China’s Road from Revolution to Reform,将于2024年10月出版)。]

The interview in Chinese and English follow below.

 

Pissler, Knut Benjamin and Eckardt, Fenja and Pisanelli, Luca, Bibliography of Academic Writings in the Field of Chinese Law in Western Languages in 2023 (June 05, 2024)《2023 年西方语言中国法领域学术著作书目》(2024 年 6 月 5 日)

 

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Knut Benjamin Pissler, Fenja Eckardt, and Luca Pisanelli, have announced the completion of their Bibliography of Academic Writings in the Field of Chinese Law in Western Languages in 2023 (June 05, 2024) 《2023 年西方语言中国法领域学术著作书目》(2024 年 6 月 5 日)which they have posted to SSRN: here.

The bibliography aims to give readers an overview on articles in academic journals, contributions to edited volumes, monographs and textbooks published in English or German in the field of Chinese law published in 2023. Writings in other western languages could only partly be considered. Regarding relevant German-language literature, the issues 1 to 12 of the journal "Karlsruher Juristische Bibliographie" (KJB) of the year 2023 were screened for articles relating to Chinese Law. Simultaneously the classification scheme of the KJB was used as a model in this bibliography. Inside this classification scheme the titles of the contributions are listed in alphabetic order of the authors. Abbreviations are not utilized in order to facilitate the use of this bibliography by international readers. Concerning English-language literature we mainly focused on periodicals and books available at the library of the Max-Planck-Institute for Comparative and International Private Law (MPI) in Hamburg. The catalogue of the library of the MPI is available via the homepage of the institute (OPAC). Besides we scrutinized fee-charging databases like Westlaw, LexisNexis, Juris and Beck-Online for relevant articles. 



Monday, June 10, 2024

Hints for the Direction and Workproduct of the Upcoming Meeting of the 3rd Plemum of the 20th CPC Central Committee--The Recommendation-Reports of the 7th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the CPPCC 14th National Committee

 

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 The 3rd Plenum of the 20th Central Committee will be meeting soon.  The theme is not unexpected, especially given the amount of attention it has received in recent months: "deepening comprehensive reform to advance Chinese modernization." In anticipation of that meeting the Chinese People's Consultative Conference (CPPCC) released 14 recommendations one each from its political advisors after the recently completed 7th Meeting of the Standing Committee of its 14th National Committee (official description here).  The recommendations included the following:

易纲常委的发言:完善社会主义市场经济体制的若干建议2024-06-07 Speech by Yi Gang, member of the Standing Committee: Several suggestions for improving the socialist market economic system 2024-06-07

王志刚常委的发言:统筹推进国际和区域科技创新中心建设2024-06-07 Speech by Wang Zhigang, member of the Standing Committee: Coordinate the construction of international and regional science and technology innovation centers 2024-06-07

张连起常委的发言:深化财税体制改革 推进统一大市场建设2024-06-07 Speech by Zhang Lianqi, member of the Standing Committee: Deepen the reform of the fiscal and taxation system and promote the construction of a unified large market 2024-06-07

江尔雄常委代表台盟中央的发言:建立健全数据产权制度 促进数据要素高效流通2024-06-07 Speech by Jiang Erxiong, member of the Standing Committee on behalf of the Central Committee of the Taiwan Democratic League: Establish and improve the data property rights system and promote the efficient circulation of data elements 2024-06-07

解冬常委代表民建中央的发言:加强财政金融政策协调性 促进消费投资良性循环2024-06-07 Speech by Jie Dong, member of the Standing Committee on behalf of the Central Committee of the China Democratic National Construction Association: Strengthen the coordination of fiscal and financial policies and promote a virtuous cycle of consumption and investment 2024-06-07

张震宇常委代表民进中央的发言:优化民营经济发展环境 激发民间投资活力2024-06-07 Speech by Zhang Zhenyu, member of the Standing Committee on behalf of the Central Committee of the China Democratic League: Optimize the development environment of the private economy and stimulate the vitality of private investment 2024-06-07

葛会波常委代表九三学社中央的发言:深化分配制度改革 促进低收入群体增收2024-06-07 Speech by Ge Huibo, member of the Standing Committee on behalf of the Central Committee of the Jiusan Society: Deepen the reform of the distribution system and promote the increase of income for low-income groups 2024-06-07

毕井泉常委的发言:探索构建城乡统一的老年人医疗保障制度2024-06-07 Speech by Bi Jingquan, member of the Standing Committee: Explore the construction of a unified urban and rural elderly medical security system 2024-06-07

张宽寿常委的发言:健全基本医保筹资和待遇调整机制 促进“三医”协同发展和治理2024-06-07 Speech by Zhang Kuanshou, member of the Standing Committee: Improve the basic medical insurance financing and benefit adjustment mechanism to promote the coordinated development and governance of the "three medical services" 2024-06-07

钱克明常委代表民盟中央的发言:畅通城乡要素流动 推进城乡融合发展2024-06-07 Speech by Qian Keming, member of the Standing Committee on behalf of the Central Committee of the China Democratic League: Smooth the flow of urban and rural factors and promote urban-rural integrated development 2024-06-07

程永波常委的发言:深耕农村金融沃土 夯实粮食安全根基2024-06-07 Speech by Cheng Yongbo, member of the Standing Committee: Deepen the fertile soil of rural finance and consolidate the foundation of food security 2024-06-07

张恩迪常委代表致公党中央的发言:加快自贸试验区制度创新 引领高水平对外开放2024-06-07 Speech by Zhang Endi, member of the Standing Committee on behalf of the Central Committee of the Zhi Gong Party: Accelerate the institutional innovation of the free trade pilot zone and lead the high-level opening up 2024-06-07  

高峰常委代表全国工商联的发言:发挥跨境电商优势 助力高水平对外开放2024-06-07 Speech by Gao Feng, member of the Standing Committee on behalf of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce: Give full play to the advantages of cross-border e-commerce and help high-level opening up 2024-06-07

蔡冠深常委的发言:推动香港国际化提质增效 为国家高水平对外开放服务 2024-06-07 Speech by Cai Guanshen, member of the Standing Committee: Promote the quality and efficiency of Hong Kong's internationalization and serve the country's high-level opening up

Many of these reflect themes raised in the bi-weekly consultation meetings held since the end of 2023 (see here for links). There is little by way of surprises. The major themes revolve around the "new" development of productive forces--these mark an evolution of the practice and focus of development of productive forces during the Era of Reform and Opening Up. These are reflected in the CPPCC's work recommendations ("Their suggestions included deepening market-orientated reform, building international and regional scientific and technological innovation centers in a holistic manner, furthering reform of the fiscal and tax systems and improving the data property rights system." (here)).

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Wang Huning, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, said the CPPCC will make active contributions to developing a high-standard socialist market economy. Wang made the remarks at the closing meeting of the seventh session of the Standing Committee of the 14th CPPCC National Committee on Thursday. He noted that since the 18th CPC National Congress was held in 2012, the CPC leadership has prioritized upholding and improving the socialist market economy in deepening reform across the board, with a series of significant measures taken. With a focus on advancing Chinese modernization and refining the systems underpinning the market economy, the CPPCC should conduct in-depth research and consultation, enhance democratic oversight and build broad consensus to make suggestions on and contribute to developing a high-standard socialist market economy, Wang said. (here)

 The ideological bridge is the shift in the central contradiction focusing more on an integration of economic and social objectives as a center of a policy now increasingly built around notions of complex repeating patterns of hubs and spokes both internally and externally interlinking economic, social, cultural, and political objectives--all with the CPC at the center. 

The 14 Recommendations follow below in the original Chinese and in crude English translation.