This module focuses on the first, state-centred pillar of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and deals with several key concepts related to State obligations in respecting, protecting and fulfilling human rights in a business context. It especially shows the relationship between the Guiding Principles and States’ treaty obligations, as well as looking at case-law and interpretation by treaty bodies and regional tribunals such as the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on the subject matter. Drawing furthermore from findings of the Chilean Baseline Study on Business and Human Rights (2016), students will familiarize themselves with different requirements of policy-making, policy coordination, human rights based sector-specific law-making, oversight mechanisms and access to justice; all of them tools necessary to comply with the due diligence States are obliged to carry out in the B&HR field.

In this context, the module will specifically focus on state-owned enterprises; privatized public services; and procurement, considering how the State should use its own business and commercial operations in order to promote or guarantee human rights.

The third class will deal with the several aspects of the procedural and substantive design of National Action Plans on Human Rights and Business, a tool promoted strongly by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights.

Instructor: Prof. Judith Schönsteiner