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10 Sep 2020

Daniel Uribe, OpinioJuris

Bolstering Human Rights within International Economic Agreements–Reconciling Two ‘Separate Regimes’?

"BHR Symposium: Bolstering Human Rights within International Economic Agreements–Reconciling Two ‘Separate Regimes’?", 10 September 2020.

On the 6th of August 2020, the Chair-person Rapporteur of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises concerning human rights (OEIWG) presented the second revised draft...

One of the elements that has been a source of tension in the negotiation of a legally binding instrument is the recognition of the principle of human rights supremacy in the face of international economic agreements (IEAs).This concern was also raised by a group of civil society organisations recognising the need to include “the primacy of international human rights law above other international instruments, in particular trade and investment agreements.” For these organizations, this provision will strengthen the effectiveness of a legally binding instrument...

The second revised draft seems to consider this co-relation and incorporates, in Article 14, a provision dealing with the consistency of the legally binding instrument with respect to international law principles and instruments. Besides, it incorporates draft article 14(5) requiring State Parties to ensure that all existing and new bilateral or multilateral agreements, including IEAs, do not undermine or limit States Parties obligations under the legally binding instrument and be compatible with human rights obligations. The inclusion of these draft provisions is an interesting effort to bolster the impact of international human rights law in the sphere of IEAs in at least three levels...