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15 Apr 2015

Shane Darcy, NUI Galway, on Business & Human Rights in Ireland

Academic comments on current key issues in debate over binding treaty on business & human rights

"Key issues in the debate on a binding business and human rights instrument", 13 Apr 2015

...[I]t may seem that we have a re-emergence of the 'divisive' debate between binding and voluntary means of addressing business and human rights...Those in favour of a binding instrument argue that...[t]he...[UN] Guiding Principles are merely guidance, and...have not provided accountability for corporate harms or ensured a right to a remedy...[T]hose against a binding instrument argue that...[m]ore time...needs to be given to the...Guiding Principles...[and that p]ursuing a treaty might detract from this...[But] pursuing further implementation of the Guiding Principles is compatible with developing a binding instrument, and can if fact be complementary...The Guiding Principles are here today and...we should work towards improving these existing tools...A...[binding] instrument could help fill the gaps...[T]he treaty-making process...must be a consultative and open approach, involving States, civil society and business...