n African Human Rights Law Journal - Weak extraterritorial remedies : the Achilles heel of Ruggie's 'Protect, Respect and Remedy' Framework and Guiding Principles

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



The United Nations Protect, Respect and Remedy Framework and its Guiding Principles were adopted at the back of a long history of failed UN attempts to deal with corporate-related human rights abuses and ineffective corporate initiated voluntary measures. The need for the Framework and Guiding Principles was heightened by the current climate of neo-liberal globalisation which allows powerful multinational corporations to operate in countries that are sometimes unable to rein them in due to various factors, including sheer corruption; the need to attract and retain foreign direct investment; and archaic legal systems that are unable to deal with intricate corporate structures. This article critically examines the availability of remedies for victims of corporate-related abuses who, for one or more of the above reasons, are unable to access justice in the host state and look towards the home state for a remedy. It argues that by failing to address hurdles to accessing home state remedies, such as the principle of , state sovereignty, separate legal personality and limited liability, the Framework and Guiding Principles have failed to clearly define circumstances under which, and means by which, multinational corporations will be held liable under the laws of their home states for human rights violations committed beyond their home borders - by their subsidiaries or so-called 'foreign hands'. Consequently, victims are likely to be without remedies which are unavailable in the host state. Thus, for victims of corporate-related abuses, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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