Research Handbook on Human Rights and Investment
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Research Handbook on Human Rights and Investment

Edited by Yannick Radi

The interplay between human rights and investments is a key and complex issue in today’s world. To take stock of this importance and to tackle this complexity, this Research Handbook offers a unique multi-faceted approach. It gathers in-depth contributions which focus on the interplay between human rights and investments in various international legal regimes, economic sectors and regions. It also provides thorough analyses of the various types of accountability that may result from the activities of multinational corporations in relation to human rights. This Research Handbook is intended for practitioners, policy-makers, academics and students eager to understand the interaction between human rights and investments in all its dimensions.​
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Chapter 8: MNCs’ obligations in their ‘sphere of influence’

Gilles Lhuilier


A new obligation of diligence is weighing on MNCs to apply human rights in their ‘sphere of influence’. By pressuring them to respect human rights no matter where or how these corporations operate and whatever their size or industry may be, it is ending transnational corporations’ impunity. This new obligation was created by a very peculiar ‘transnational legal process’ where the MNCs’ ‘policies’ and communications, or corporate social responsibility (CSR), which were non-binding soft law, are now quickly becoming a mandatory responsibility. This obligation which gives effectiveness to human rights, renews the distinction between soft law and legally binding regulations. It helps us to understand the current ‘silent revolution’ of international law: the ‘transnational legal process’ whereby States and others privates actors – MNCs – use a blend of domestic and international legal processes to give effectiveness to international legal norms in national jurisdiction.

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