The Guiding Principles were endorsed by the U.N. Human Rights Council in June, 2011. “In an unprecedented step, the United Nations Human Rights Council has endorsed a new set of Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights designed to provide -for the first time- a global standard for preventing and addressing the risk of adverse impacts on human rights linked to business activity.” United Nations Human Rights Council, News Release, New Guiding Principles on Business and human rights endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, 16 June 2011.
The Guiding Principles will likely be significantly influential not just as a source of soft law principles at the international level, but as a basis for the evolution of common understanding of appropriate standards of corporate behavior for the development of social norms and eventually changes to the form of the domestic legal orders of states. It will be inevitable that as the Guidelines move toward approval, all major stakeholders in the process will seek to mold the Guidelines to suit their interests. See, e.g., Stefan Marculewicz, U.N. Special Representative's Final Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Policy Implications for Employers, Global Employment Law, March 29, 2011 ("We also believe these Guiding Principles, if not addressed proactively by companies, may create an opportunity for advocacy organizations (such as issue-specific non-governmental organizations and labor unions) to seek to define the parameters of the Guiding Principles on their own terms. "). In order to better understand the Guidelines, it may be useful to examine the context in which the Guiding Principles were developed and the development of the Guiding Principles from draft (in November 2010, the "DP" or "Draft Principles") to final form GP (March 2011) from a more neutral perspective.
For this purpose I have provided my own thoughts about that context and development that I will develop in a series of posting, divided along the conceptual lines within which the Guiding Principles were framed.
That analysis is divided into several parts:
Part I: From Conception to Principle—The development of the Protect-Respect-Remedy Framework and the Drafting of the Guiding Principles (April 24, 2011);
Part II. The Draft Guiding Principles: Section by Section Analysis (April 30, 2011);
Part III. Justification and Legitimacy in the Introduction to the Guiding Principles Implementing the UN "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework.
Part IV. Section By Section Analysis, From Draft to Final Principles: Overall Structure and Capstone Principles.
Part V. Section By Section Analysis: The State Duty to Protect Principles.
Part VI. Section By Section Analysis: The Corporate Responsibility to Respect.
Part VII. Section By Section Analysis: The Obligation to Remedy.
Part VIII. The General Principles: A Preliminary Assessment.
This posting looks to a section by section analysis of the initial draft Guiding Principles. While there are differences, some of which are significant, between the initial draft and the final form (March 2011) of the Guiding Principles, the Draft Guiding Principles serves as an important source of interpretation of the Guiding Principles and a useful baseline for approaching interpretation of the final framework of the Guidelines, its focus and limits. For that purpose, a section by section analysis of the Draft Guiding Principles may be useful.
Section By Section Analysis.
[i] GP Principles 1-11.