You are being redirected to the story the piece of content is found in so you can read it in context. Please click the following link if you are not automatically redirected within a couple seconds:
en/business-human-rights-journal-july-2016#c168309

Binding corporate human rights obligations: A few observations from the South African legal framework

Author: Lise Smit, Published on: 12 February 2018

"Binding Corporate Human Rights Obligations: A Few Observations from the South African Legal Framework," 15 April 2016

...[A] few interesting mechanisms for holding corporations legally accountable for human rights obligations have emerged in [South African] legislation and case law... Human rights are...not directly applied to companies, but instead through statutory interpretation or the development of the common law. This [article highlights] a few examples of these developments and consider[s] what options they may offer for other national jurisdictions as well as the international treaty process...

[T]he South African Bill of Rights binds private entities, where applicable. However, private entities are not ordinarily held liable directly under the Constitution. Instead, human rights are given effect against private actors indirectly through the interpretation of legislation or the development of common law... 

The constitutional requirement that all courts must consider the Bill of Rights in the interpretation of legislation and the development of the common law facilitates the application of human rights against corporate entities. Myriad examples of this are taking place in daily South African legal practice... Similarly, the constitutional requirement that international law should be taken into account when interpreting the Bill of Rights provides an avenue for the UN Guiding Principles to permeate binding case law... These developments demonstrate the ease with which human rights can be applied to companies where the legal framework encourages or even mandates it...

Currently, treaty negotiations are taking place at the United Nations around creating possible binding human rights obligations on companies. State parties may consider these South African examples of regulation...as possible models...

Read the full post here