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Course Details

Business and Human Rights (Perrin)

Spring 2024   LAW 707-001  

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Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Expository Writing

Grading
30% Participation,
30% Paper,
40% Other (Each week, I will administer an open book/notes quiz on Canvas. Each quiz will contain four multiple-choice questions. Each quiz is worth a total of 4 points. There will be 14 quizzes, and I will drop each student’s 4 lowest quiz grades, leaving 10 quizzes worth four points each.)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement

With Permission of Instructor
Each student must submit a case study report on a business and human rights conflict involving a single corporation’s operations. The case study may be used to satisfy the Senior Writing Requirement. The case study is broken down into 6 assignments due separately throughout the term. 1. Human Rights Issue 2. Corporation Profile 3. Responsibility and Accountability Mechanisms 4. Grievance Report 5. Mobilization Report 6. Case Study Synthesis and In-Class Presentation

Location

Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can send you an email with instructions for accessing the recording for the class session(s) you missed.

- I will make PowerPoint slides or other class materials routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

Meeting Times/Location
W 10:30AM - 12:20PM
Silverman Hall 270

Category
Upper-Level

Credits
2.0

An examination of the international legal regime developing around the norms and principles of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development, and its implications for human rights, foreign direct investment, economic growth, and environmental justice.

Introduces students to “global governance” using business and human rights regime as a case study, while broadening students’ understanding of the international human rights regime by focusing on three critical aspects:

(1) soft law (declarations, resolutions, and corporate codes such as the “Ruggie Principles”) targeting private (non-state) actors, specifically corporations, as violators of human rights; (2) private (non-state) actors – namely corporations, trade groups, investors, and cause lawyers – as enforcers of human rights; and (3) domestic courts as sites of interpreting and enforcing international norms (specifically as sites for interpreting and enforcing sustainability norms through corporate accountability litigation, for example, under the Alien Tort Statute in the United States) as opposed to enforcement of international law and norms by coercive action of wealthy states (e.g., economic sanctions by the United States) or in international human rights courts.

Encourages students to examine:

(i) whether and how human rights effectively constrain the forces of globalization and development, such as deregulation and foreign direct investment; (ii) which segments of indigenous societies support and oppose such constraints; (iii) whether supporters of human rights constraints should pursue increased legalization and judicialization of the business and human rights regime (i.e., pursue tougher domestic and treaty law and domestic and international court jurisdiction over corporate actors); and (iv) whether and how states, through the United Nations or other intergovernmental forums, should support private (non-state) enforcement of human rights (for example, through the UN Environmental Program Finance Initiative, the UN Global Compact, and Sustainable Stock Exchanges)

Course Concentrations

Business and Corporate Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of business and corporate law; Perform legal analysis in the context of business and corporate law; Communicate effectively on topics related to business and corporate law; Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection between the world of business and finance and that of business and corporate law, and how they affect other areas of law and society.

International and Comparative Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of international and comparative law, both substantively and procedurally; Perform legal analysis in the context of international and comparative law; Communicate effectively on topics related to international and comparative law; Demonstrate an understanding of the role of international and comparative law, and their interconnection with domestic law.

Constitutional Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of constitutional law; Perform legal analysis in the context of constitutional law; Communicate effectively on topics related to constitutional law; Demonstrate an understanding of constitutional law affects other areas of law.

Courts and the Judicial System Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.

Employment Law and Employee Benefits Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of employment law and employee benefits; Perform legal analysis in the context of employment law and employee benefits; Communicate effectively on topics related to employment law and employee benefits; Demonstrate an understanding of how employment law and employee benefits affect other areas of law.

Environmental Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of environmental law; Perform legal analysis in the context of environmental law; Communicate effectively on topics related to environmental law; Demonstrate an understanding of how environmental law affects other areas of law.

Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.