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Responsibility Beyond Borders: State Responsibility for Extraterritorial Violations by Corporations of International Human Rights Law

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Abstract:

States routinely provide support and assistance to their corporate nationals in their global trade and investment ventures. While states may not intend to allow corporate nationals to violate human rights in their extraterritorial operations, by their actions or omissions, states may facilitate, or otherwise contribute to, a situation in which such violations by a corporation occur. This article investigates the extent to which the extraterritorial activities of transnational corporations (TNCs) that violate international human rights law can give rise to home state responsibility. The analysis shows that home states of TNCs have obligations under international law in certain situations to regulate the extraterritorial activities of corporate nationals or the latter's foreign subsidiaries and can incur international responsibility where they fail to do so.

Keywords: State responsibility; attribution; human rights; jurisdiction; obligations to regulat; transnational corporations

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2230.2007.00654.x

Affiliations: 1: Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the School of Law, University of Nottingham, UK and 2: Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Canada

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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