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Anne Peters, Heike Krieger and Leonhard Kreuzer
As a standard bridging law and other spheres of normativity, due diligence is pervasive across numerous areas of international law. This paper defines the features and functions of due diligence, illustrating how the concept's development reflects structural changes in the international legal order. Concerning their content, due diligence obligations can be separated into two overlapping types: procedural obligations and obligations relating to States' institutional capacity. Thus, due diligence serves to manage risks, compensate for States' freedoms being circumscribed through legalisation, expand State accountability and possibly stabilise the international order through ‘proceduralisation’. However, it is argued that due diligence cannot be characterised as a general principle of international law due to its diverse content in different fields of international law and its dependence on accompanying primary rules. Finally, it is contended that due diligence introduces certain risks, particularly by diluting States' substantive obligations and contributing to the rise of ‘informal’ international law.
The ambiguity surrounding what constitutes a State's fair share of the global burden of mitigating climate change has undermined the ability of domestic climate change litigation to bring about emissions reductions which are collectively capable of meeting the goal of the Paris Agreement. When confronted with challenges to the adequacy of States' mitigation efforts, domestic courts have also drawn on States' international human rights law obligations. This paper argues that when applying these obligations, the uncertainty surrounding the fair share question must be resolved so as to ensure individual mitigation obligations which are collectively consistent with the Paris Agreement. The analysis focuses on the obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights and outlines how general principles of law applicable in situations involving causal uncertainty could be invoked to address the fair share question.
Prior to the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, no constitutional protection for intellectual property (IP) existed in the many earlier constitutions of Egypt or Tunisia. It is remarkable and surprising therefore that, in 2014, IP clauses appeared in the post-revolutionary constitutions of both countries. This raises the key question: why add to the existing regulation of IP in this way. Is constitutional protection just another example of the inexorable strengthening of IP rights (IPRs) or could it be a means of constraining them, where necessary, to protect other rights? This article argues that including IP in a constitution may, rather than merely strengthening IP owners' rights, open IPRs up to competition against more fundamental constitutionally protected human rights and, for example, support the prioritization of the right to health. This could be a valid explanation for and potential use of the inclusion of IP in the Egyptian and Tunisian Constitutions.
Jessica C Lai
Patent law is considered to be an objective law, dealing with the objective subject matter of the ‘technical arts’. Yet, empirical studies show that patenting rates around the world are gendered. This article analyses the roots of the gender patent gap, and how this correlates to the invention and innovation processes. It shows that the gendered nature of the patent-regulated knowledge governance system forces women into traditionally male spaces and fields in order to partake in the extant patent game. Yet, when they enter those spaces and fields, they often find themselves unwelcome and subject to institutional, structural or organizational biases, which impinge upon their ability to invent, patent and commercialize.
This article re-frames the discourse around women inventors. It argues that we have to stop focusing on the ‘women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)’ narrative, because it is a distraction from the underlying problem that the Western knowledge governance system reflects the hegemonic powers at play. Instead, we need to re-think the knowledge governance system and the ecosystem it creates, in order to ensure egalitarian knowledge production and protection.