human rights & business (and a few other things)

Extraterritoriality and Business Accountability for Human Rights Violations in Latest Issue of Journal of Business Ethics

My article on extraterritoriality and business accountability for human rights violations, which was published in November 2012 in the online version of the Journal of Business Ethics (see blog post on this), was selected for publication in the latest completed journal issue. The exact references are: “Enhancing Corporate Accountability for Human Rights Violations: Is Extraterritoriality the Magic Potion?”, Journal of Business Ethics, October 2013, Volume 117, Issue 3, pp. 493-511.

The article can be viewed here.


The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, resulting from the work of John Ruggie and his team, largely depend on state action and corporate good will for their implementation. One increasingly popular way for states to prevent and redress violations of human rights committed by companies outside their country of registration is to adopt measures with extraterritorial implications, some of which are presented in the article, or to assert direct extraterritorial jurisdiction in specific instances. Some United Nations human rights bodies and non-governmental organisations are clearly supporting the use of extraterritoriality and have argued that international human rights law places an obligation on states to embrace extraterritoriality so as to better control the activities of companies registered on their territories. In this context, the article aims to determine whether extraterritoriality is the magic potion that will help enhance corporate accountability for human rights violations committed overseas. The article explores whether such obligation exists and, beyond this, whether extraterritoriality should be further encouraged.

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