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Archive

Giesela Ruehl

Written by Silja Vöneky, University of Freiburg

Note: This blogpost is part of a series on „Corporate social responsibility and international law“ that presents the main findings of the contributions published in August Reinisch, Stephan Hobe, Eva-Maria Kieninger & Anne Peters (eds), Unternehmensverantwortung und Internationales Recht, C.F. Müller, 2020.

I. Introduction

1. The question of the status of transnational corporations in investment arbitration is of central importance for the division of spheres of responsibility, for the pursuit and enforcement of values, and thus for the bases of legitimation of the international legal order today.

Written by Stefan Huber, University of Tübingen

Note: This blogpost is part of a series on „Corporate social responsibility and international law“ that presents the main findings of the contributions published in August Reinisch, Stephan Hobe, Eva-Maria Kieninger & Anne Peters (eds), Unternehmensverantwortung und Internationales Recht, C.F. Müller, 2020.

1. In investor-state arbitration, one has to distinguish between arbitral proceedings which are initiated on the basis of a contract concluded between the investor and the host state, on the one hand, and arbitral proceedings which are initiated on the basis of a bilateral investment treaty, on the other hand. In the latter case, there is no arbitration agreement in the traditional sense. This entails a unilateral right of the investor to initiate arbitral proceedings. Granting the host state the right to bring a counterclaim might compensate this asymmetry up to a certain degree.

Written by Peter Hilpold, University of Innsbruck

Note: This blogpost is part of a series on „Corporate social responsibility and international law“ that presents the main findings of the contributions published in August Reinisch, Stephan Hobe, Eva-Maria Kieninger & Anne Peters (eds), Unternehmensverantwortung und Internationales Recht, C.F. Müller, 2020.

1. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (2011) have set forth a process by which Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) rules are to be further specified. The approach followed is not to impose specific results but to create procedures by which CSR is given further flesh on the basis of a continuing dialogue between all relevant stakeholders.

Written by Tanja Domej, University of Zurich

Note: This blogpost is part of a series on „Corporate social responsibility and international law“ that presents the main findings of the contributions published in August Reinisch, Stephan Hobe, Eva-Maria Kieninger & Anne Peters (eds), Unternehmensverantwortung und Internationales Recht, C.F. Müller, 2020.

1. It is essential for the effective enforcement of human and workers’ rights to create effective local institutions and procedures. This encompasses functioning, trustworthy and accessible civil courts, but also other public, private and criminal institutions and mechanisms (e.g. permission, licencing or inspection procedures to ensure safety in the workplace; accident insurance; trade unions). Civil litigation cannot be a substitute for such mechanisms – particularly if it takes place far away from the place where the relevant events occurred.

Written by Oliver Dörr, University of Osnabrück

Note: This blogpost is part of a series on „Corporate social responsibility and international law“ that presents the main findings of the contributions published in August Reinisch, Stephan Hobe, Eva-Maria Kieninger & Anne Peters (eds), Unternehmensverantwortung und Internationales Recht, C.F. Müller, 2020.

I. Companies – responsibility

1. As for commercial entities, international law is concerned, above all, with transnational or multinational companies. The term basically describes the conglomerate of commercial entities that are acting separately in at least two different countries and which are tied together by a regime of hierarchical coordination.

Written by Giesela Rühl, University of Jena/Humboldt-University of Berlin

Note: This blogpost is part of a series on „Corporate social responsibility and international law“ that presents the main findings of all contributions published in August Reinisch, Stephan Hobe, Eva-Maria Kieninger & Anne Peters (eds), Unternehmensverantwortung und Internationales Recht, C.F. Müller, 2020.

1. Corporate social responsibility has been the subject of lively debates in private international law for many years. These debates revolve around the question of whether companies domiciled in countries of the Global North can be held liable for human rights violations committed by foreign subsidiaries or suppliers in countries of the Global South (so-called supply chain liability).

Written by Nico Krisch, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva

Note: This blogpost is part of a series on „Corporate social responsibility and international law“ that presents the main findings of all contributions published in August Reinisch, Stephan Hobe, Eva-Maria Kieninger & Anne Peters (eds), Unternehmensverantwortung und Internationales Recht, C.F. Müller, 2020.

1. The conceptual framework of jurisdictional boundaries in international law continues to be dominated by the principle of territoriality and its exceptions, even if calls for a reorientation have grown in recent years.

2. The principle of territoriality leads today to far wider jurisdictional claims than in the past, and its limits are being redefined through ‘territorial extensions’ in a number of areas.

Written by Anatol Dutta, University of Munich

Note: This blogpost is part of a series on „Corporate social responsibility and international law“ that presents the main findings of the contributions published in August Reinisch, Stephan Hobe, Eva-Maria Kieninger & Anne Peters (eds), Unternehmensverantwortung und Internationales Recht, C.F. Müller, 2020.

1. The question of the reach of courts’ jurisdiction is highly significant for claims against transnational enterprises based on human rights violations or environmental damages abroad. It does not only determine the applicable law but also the access to a particular justice system.

2. Universal jurisdiction of national courts for human rights and environmental damages claims against enterprises cannot be established, neither on the basis of existing law nor from a legal policy perspective. Rather, such claims have to be handled under the traditional jurisdictional mechanisms.

In April 2019 the German Society of International Law (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationales Recht) held its 36th biannual conference at the University of Vienna. Organised by August Reinisch (University of Vienna) in cooperation with Eva Maria Kieninger (University of Würzburg) and Anne Peters (Max Planck Institute Heidelberg), the conference  discussed the concept of „Corporate social responsibility“ from both a public and a private international law perspective. Presentations were given by Tanja Domej (University of Zurich), Oliver Dörr (University of Osnabrück), Anatol Dutta (University of Munich), Peter Hilpold (University of Innsbruck), Stefan Huber (University of Tübingen), Nico Krisch (Graduate Institut of Geneva), Giesela Rühl (University of Jena/Humboldt-University of Berlin) and Silja Vöneky (University of Freiburg).

Conflict of Laws and the Internet

Pedro de Miguel Asensio from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid has published a book on Conflict of laws and the Internet. The publisher’s blurb reads as follows:
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The ubiquity of the Internet contrasts with the territorial nature of national legal orders. This book offers a comprehensive analysis of jurisdiction, choice of law and enforcement of judgments issues concerning online activities in the areas in which private legal relationships are most affected by the Internet. It provides an in-depth study of EU Law in this particularly dynamic field, with references to major developments in other jurisdictions. Topics comprise information society services, data protection, defamation, copyright, trademarks, unfair competition and contracts, including consumer protection and alternative dispute resolution.
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Key features include:
  • comprehensive analysis of the complex conflict of laws issues that arise in connection with Internet activities