MNCS and Human Rights Violations – Litigation in the Intersection of National and International Law

For over 60 years, globalisation and MNCs issues have been the most intense debates at the front position of international economy, law and politics. Indisputably, they are the main catchphrases in terms of economics, environmental protection and human rights law. The concept of globalisation, a filter through Smith’s notion of capitalism, has promoted economic liberalisation, that brought to light the theory of ‘the invisible hand’, which perceives that market economy should regulate itself and promote wealth, jobs, capital, right to work, health and economic equality in society.

Undoubtedly, such an ideological concept has promoted economic development, transfer of technology, knowledge, finances (FDI) and trade liberalisation across the globe.

However, Stiglitz urges that primary concerns of globalisation are economic inequality, social injustice, environmental damage, destruction of ecosystems and indigenous people’s livelihood, promotion of corruption, bad governance in developing countries, a lack of appropriate mechanisms to govern the global economy, imbalance of economic power between developed and developing countries.

Thus, in the content of the international legal system and legal scholars’ views, the self-regulatory perception of globalisation has led to violations of international law and human rights law by MNCs, either directly or indirectly, through their subsidiaries or host state governments. This concern indicates a need to develop an appropriate mechanism to regulate the conduct of MNCs at the international level. It should be noted that the idea of imposing private rights and duties under national and international law through collective jurisdiction and multinational trading systems, at both global and regional levels, signals the end of the Westphalian State System.

Past evidence suggests that some authors advocate a ‘hard law’ approach to regulate MNCs, while others affirm their position on a ‘soft law’.

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