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6 Feb 2015

Frédéric Mégret, McGill University, in James G. Stewart Blog

Binding treaty promises more than it can deliver, says Canadian academic

“Would a treaty be all it is made up to be?” 4 Feb 2015

…The real question [about the treaty on business and human rights] at this stage is whether there is something inherently problematic about having a treaty as opposed to the Guiding Principles…A first concern might be…the untranslatability of the Guiding Principles project into the language of a human rights treaty…A second perhaps more significant concern might be that the move to a treaty does too much of the promise of legal bindingness and therefore the prospect of enforceability...Third,..[t]he “treatification” of the Guiding Principles might be seen as pushing in two, not necessarily compatible directions…[T]he move to a treaty is a move to “normalize” the regulation of corporations…and away from the sort of “private ordering” that has become a hallmark of the regulation of corporations today. It…arguably does away with one of the central features of the Guiding Principles as a hybrid instrument at least partly “owned” by corporations...