Human Rights and Transnational Companies: Responsibility without Accountability



Carolei D Human Rights and Transnational Companies: Responsibility without Accountability. Bocconi Legal Papers, (4), pp. 185-195.

This manuscript falls in the area between business and human rights, providing a critical analysis of the United Nations (UN) initiatives aimed at defining human rights responsibilities for transnational corporations (TNCs). Essentially, this research demonstrates how the efforts made by the UN, through the mere definition of responsibilities against human rights violations, do not establish a clear link between responsibility and accountability of TNCs. Taking for granted that only States possess all indications of international legal personality to be subjected to the legal norms of the human rights regime, the main issue concerns the accountability dimension of TNCs for human rights abuses. In such context, it emerges that extraterritorial jurisdiction is currently the only way in which victims may hold TNCs accountable for their violations when the access to effective remedies is negated. This leads to the conclusion that a project to establish a link between responsibility and accountability for human rights violations of TNCs would be desirable, even though the definition of international legal obligations for TNCs could be practically inhibited by the State-centric nature of international human rights law.

Bocconi Legal Papers, Issue 4

FundersUniversity of Aberdeen
Publication date31/12/2014

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Dr Domenico Carolei

Dr Domenico Carolei

Lecturer in Public Int. Law & Public Law, Law