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On the moral commitments of private law and the curbing of global corporate power

Abstract : The issue that the authors tackle here with great talent and clarity is the law’s notoriously weak responses to the horrifying legacy of globalization in terms of industrial disasters and abuse involving (1) multinational corporations and (2) innumerable individual victims in developing countries (in a large number of well-known instances, involving pharmaceutical testing, extractive industries, textile manufacturing and much more). In this respect, they identify a “missing link” in existing (unsuccessful) attempts to remedy transnational corporate misconduct through the channels provided by either public or private international law. On the one hand, the former, as we know, is still structurally inhibited from extending to private actors the duties it imposes on states. The missing link here is the lack of extraterritoriality of human rights law. On the other, the latter, according to the authors, offers very little beyond the indeterminate and otherwise unsatisfactory exception of public policy. As they see it, this leaves a gaping hole in the form of an unasked question: what are the moral (and legal) grounds on which the putative victims may assert claims for reparation against putative corporate defendants transnationally ? [First paragraph]
Mots-clés : Droit international
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Horatia Muir Watt. On the moral commitments of private law and the curbing of global corporate power. Cornell International Law Journal Online, 2018, 51, pp.133 - 138. ⟨hal-03230064⟩



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