LAW 7170-Public International Law
Ratner a writer in the area of Business and Human Rights observers firstly that “a major debate within a field of international law that has moved from the periphery to center stage in just a few decades—business and human rights, or BHR: Can and should international law’s approach to the human rights impacts of business activity shift from today’s mostly soft-law framework to a multilateral treaty regime.” Ratner goes on to observe that a “treaty approach attempts to cut through …..and impose on states parties, and through them on business entities, a specific regulatory regime, even as, like all treaties, it tolerates some diversity in its implementation. But its aim, first and foremost, can be summed up in three words: binding uniformity now.” [ Steven Ratner, ‘Introduction to the Symposium on Soft and Hard Law on Business and Human Rights’ (2020) AJIL Unbound, 114, 163 and 166. (online). ]
To what extent is the aim of creating a treaty which has “binding uniformity now” necessary, feasible or indeed a desirable aim in the context of Business and Human Rights? Please fully explain and defend your reasoning.
Langford, Bartram, and Roaf have noted that “Articulating sanitation as a human right offers an opportunity to highlight, support and legalise the continuing demands of this sanitation revolution...It also brings a greater focus on dignity…Additionally, the focus on genuine participation, affordability and cultural acceptability brings into the fore-ground the need to ensure that sanitation systems are contextually appropriate, can be accessed and will actually be used in practice. This is not to say that articulating or enforcing this‘new’human right will provide a panacea for addressing the sanitation crisis.”[ Langford, Bartram, and Roaf, ‘ The Human Right to Sanitation’ in Langford and Russell (Eds.) The Human Right to Water: Theory, Practice and Prospects (Cambridge University Press 2017) 394. ]
Given the creation, articulation and enforcement of the ‘right to sanitation’ according to the above commentators will not provide a panacea or a universal remedy for addressing the sanitation crisis. What then, can be seen as both the distinct advantages and disadvantages, of articulating and continuing to develop the interpretation and increase compliance of this “new” human right within the context of international law?