Local Engagement with International Economic Law and Human Rights
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Local Engagement with International Economic Law and Human Rights

Edited by Ljiljana Biukovic and Pitman B. Potter

Providing an analysis of global regulation and the impact of international organizations on domestic laws, this collection grew out of a central objective to explore methods of domestic engagement with international trade and human rights norms, and the inherent difficulties in establishing balanced links between these two international law regimes. The common thread of the papers in this collection is a focus on the application of socio-legal normative paradigms in building knowledge and policy support for coordinating local performance with international trade and human rights standards in ways that are mutually sustaining.
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Chapter 3: Transparency evolution: more than the right to know

Ljiljana Biukovic

Abstract

Many international trade and investment agreements address human rights by creating their own rules of governance or by referring to rules of international human rights treaties. The transparency rules of those agreements are often cited as evidence of the possible incorporation of human rights provisions into the international trade regime. This chapter focuses on the economic cooperation between two developing countries, China and Peru, and examines how their domestic transparency rules and related domestic laws evolved in the context of the implementation and enforcement of international transparency laws. It reflects on how institutions operating at various levels of governance facilitated two investments by Chinese companies in Peru’s extractive industry projects, and how they responded to public requests for greater transparency in the activities of governments and investors and for broader participation of private actors in decisions regarding the socio-economic impact of investments on local communities. This chapter further considers the proliferation of transparency rules in international law by applying the discourse of multilayered governance and demonstrates that the advancement of transparency rules in the trade regime produces spillover effects beyond trade policy towards fundamental human rights. It argues that the proliferation of international transparency rules found in international trade and investment agreements provides an opportunity for domestic good governance reforms. It shows the necessity for states to establish processes and institutions capable of coordinating interaction between international trade rules and domestic policies to allow individuals and communities not only to access information about government and business trade activities but also to allow them to participate in creating these policies and actions.

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