Fundamental human rights obligations of corporations
Title: Fundamental human rights obligations of corporations
Author: LETNAR CERNIC, Jernej
Citation: Anita HRAST (ed.), Collected Papers of the 4th IRDO International Conference, Social Responsibility and current challenges 2009, IRDO Institute for development of social responsibility, 2009. 59-70.
Globalization has in last decades assumed a prominent position in the international trade and in contemporary societies worldwide. In this way, it has stirred a number of positive and negative developments in national and international environments. Globalization has been characterized by the rise of the economic, social and political power of corporations. This article argues that fundamental human rights obligations of corporations derive primarily from national legal orders and only secondarily from the international level, whereas both draw their foundations from a national and international value system. The tenets of every normative system are principles and rules that create rights and obligations of the subjects/participants of that system. Validity of any positive norm derives its legal authority from the membership in a legal order, which gives it a binding force. Legal scholarship has so far predominantly focused on international legal obligations of corporations. In contrast, the present paper argues that fundamental human rights obligations of corporations derive its legal authority from national normative orders and only secondary from international level. Finally, this paper argues that fundamental human rights obligations of corporations have arguably acquired the status of customary international law.
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