Abstract

This book, through various differently oriented chapters, tries to give an insight on how the European Union and its multilevel model of governance must try to strike a balance between diverging interests and priorities. In particular, the EU and the European states (including the CoE’s Members) should implement all possible actions to protect individuals’ dignity, along with other important sustainable community priorities such as public health, sustainable development and the protection of the environment, social values, and fundamental freedoms. At the same time the regulations and practices should be able to build-up an appropriate business environment that is sufficiently friendly to corporate activity to permit companies to produce growth and create new job opportunities, without affecting any of the individual substantial rights and liberties. The book contains chapters providing an overview and comparison of different existing practices with constructive suggestions for future policy-making, as well as chapters dealing with more specific issues related to business and human rights. Overall, this book attempts not only to summarize the outcomes of the most intensely debated challenges; it also tries to provide constructive criticism and valuable suggestions for the future for policymakers and legislators to move forward. Business and human rights hold many complex and intricate relations, as well as the interests of subjects who do not have an equal social and legal position. All these diverging values and opposing concerns require a very delicate and diplomatic approach in order to bring clarity and binding security for all the involved stakeholders. Nevertheless, the future outlook of the field looks promising, mainly due to the large amount of documents, frameworks, opinions, and bilateral agreements, but also thanks to the incessant and sometimes constructively obstinate activity of institutions, and national and international courts. This book has the potential to also be one of the sources for fostering incremental positive development in order to consolidate more human conditions and values in the global economy, free-trade and business, which should be primarily for humans. Not only for the privileged ones, but for all human beings.
Full Paper
Paolo Davide Farah
Founder, President and Director

Summary

This book, through various differently oriented chapters, tries to give an insight on how the European Union and its multilevel model of governance must try to strike a balance between diverging interests and priorities. In particular, the EU and the European states (including the CoE’s Members) should implement all possible actions to protect individuals’ dignity, along with other important sustainable community priorities such as public health, sustainable development and the protection of the environment, social values, and fundamental freedoms. At the same time the regulations and practices should be able to build-up an appropriate business environment that is sufficiently friendly to corporate activity to permit companies to produce growth and create new job opportunities, without affecting any of the individual substantial rights and liberties. The book contains chapters providing an overview and comparison of different existing practices with constructive suggestions for future policy-making, as well as chapters dealing with more specific issues related to business and human rights. Overall, this book attempts not only to summarize the outcomes of the most intensely debated challenges; it also tries to provide constructive criticism and valuable suggestions for the future for policymakers and legislators to move forward. Business and human rights hold many complex and intricate relations, as well as the interests of subjects who do not have an equal social and legal position. All these diverging values and opposing concerns require a very delicate and diplomatic approach in order to bring clarity and binding security for all the involved stakeholders. Nevertheless, the future outlook of the field looks promising, mainly due to the large amount of documents, frameworks, opinions, and bilateral agreements, but also thanks to the incessant and sometimes constructively obstinate activity of institutions, and national and international courts. This book has the potential to also be one of the sources for fostering incremental positive development in order to consolidate more human conditions and values in the global economy, free-trade and business, which should be primarily for humans. Not only for the privileged ones, but for all human beings.

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Our concerns

The growth in green energy investments worldwide is an important reality and rising trends are to be expected in the future. When designing the proper policy agenda for renewable energy investments, we must take into consideration the legal, regulatory and political frameworks in both developing and developed countries. gLAWcal aims at analyzing national approaches on the matter, combining scientific, social and economic considerations. At the same time, it wishes to develop partnerships among European and non-European institutions, so as to deliver an integrated approach on sustainable energy investments, combining global and local perspectives.
The need to prevent the abuse of intellectual property rights by right holders or the resort to practices which unreasonably restrain trade or adversely affect the international transfer of technology are topical issues that affects international relations. It is crucial for developing countries to achieve a substantive degree of IPR protection, not only for the promotion of creativity and innovation, but also for the maximization of technology transfer from developed countries. gLAWcal examines IPR regimes and their impact on competition with the objective of providing a better understanding of the competition-dimension of IP rights. Intellectual property rights are also extremely crucial to sustainable development in manifold ways, from the protection of traditional knowledge and cultural products, to access to essential medicines. Our organization focuses on the policy frameworks and institutions shaping debate and policy development in this sector.
In the last fifteen years, all around the world there has been a tendency to put much hope in the rise of civil society, its emergence being welcomed as a sign of progress towards a more democratic system. Many places in the world are today laboratories for change thanks to bottom-up movements supported by civil society organizations. By looking at contentious politics and how they converge and interact with institutional politics, we can better understand what directions a country’s political system and its governance is taking. gLAWcal supports collective forms of actions aimed at the creation of better societies, on many social issues, and in various geographical areas.
Improvements in people’s economic wellbeing have increased citizen demands for a cleaner environment. As societies undergo the transition to industrial development and modernity, their citizens begin to concern themselves with needs and wants beyond the material, including the protection of the environment. However, growing levels of environmental consciousness and awareness are often not matched by proper environmental legislation enforcement at the local level. gLAWcal looks at environmental rights developments in developing countries, and aims at delivering policy advices and capacity building support in areas where law implementation is lacking. With this purpose, our organization seeks to improve environmental protection not only for the benefit of the populations directly affected, but also for the sake of the entire planet.
Globalization, and the consequent international exchange of goods, services, cultures, ideas, has brought increased wealth for many on the one hand, while exerting pressure on core societal values both in developed and developing countries on the other hand. Public opinion and policy makers have warned against the threat posed by international trade and liberalization to policies and measures meant to protect the so-called non-trade concerns (NTC), such as environmental protection, sustainable development, good governance, cultural rights, labour rights, public health, social welfare, national security, food safety, access to knowledge, consumer interests and animal welfare.When trying to protect these issues, developed countries have put into place trade measures that have encountered resistance or dissent in developing countries, being perceived as protectionist actions or as an attempt by the importing countries to impose their social, ethical and cultural values on exporting countries.The challenge of integrating Non-Trade Concerns embodies the willingness to overcome national egoisms and embrace universally a number of fundamental values, creating an ethical and juridical platform to win over cultural differences and issues of national sovereignty. gLAWcal’s research aims at identifying ways to protect NTC within international economic law. By shedding new light on developing countries’ trends towards inclusion of NTC in the domestic and international arena, gLAWcal provides a comprehensive perspective on law enforcement, creating a bridge between the international and the domestic realities.

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