The UN Guiding Principles' orbit and other regulatory regimes in the business and human rights universe: Managing the Interface

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

What should be the interface of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) with other regulatory regimes in the business and human rights (BHR) universe? This article explores this issue in relation to two specific contexts. First, the interface of 'social norm' with evolving 'legal norms': Relation of Pillar II of the UNGPs and mandatory human rights due diligence (HRDD) laws as well as parent companies' direct duty of care for negligence. Second, the interface of 'soft norms' and evolving 'hard norms': How the UNGPs should inform the proposed BHR treaty. It is argued that legal norms should align with Pillar II only in a 'loose manner'. They should draw from and build on the HRDD concept under Pillar II, but not be constrained by it, because a hard alignment of Pillar I laws with Pillar II could undercut the independent but complementary status of the two pillars. Moreover, the UNGPs should serve only as a 'starting point' and not the 'end point' in the evolution of other hard or soft norms in the future. Such an approach would be desirable because the UNGPs alone are unlikely to be enough to challenge or confront the existing structure of irresponsibility and inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-351
Number of pages16
JournalBusiness and Human Rights Journal
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • alignment
  • complementarity
  • mandatory HRDD laws
  • treaty
  • UNGPs

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