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International Comparative Law

Law: Human Rights & Corporate Social Responsibility

Week 1 - Human Rights

1) Human rights in Europe (Monday, 1 July 2019)

The protection of fundamental rights in the Member States of the European Union is based on the national constitutions, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union and the European Convention on Human Rights. These three guarantee schemes are both complementary and competitive. While it is primarily the responsibility of the Constitution and more generally of national legal systems to protect human rights, the existence of the European Court of Human Rights, which is a subsidiary protection mechanism, testifies the need to complement national mechanisms with international mechanisms. But the fact that the States are members of the European Union complicates this scheme. The European Union is a federal political entity and therefore has a duty to respect human rights. It must ensure that they are respected by its institutions, but also by its Member States, at least when they act within the scope of Union law. There is also the question of the Union's accession to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Lecturer:

Prof. Dr. Oliver Dubos
Université de Bordeaux, France

2) Human rights in Africa (Tuesday, 2 July 2019)

Download the topics for Law: Human Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility

Lecturer:

Chris Maina Peter
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

3) Human rights in South America (Wednesday, 3 July 2019)

to be announced

Lecturer:

Dr. Carolina Olarte Bacares
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia

4) Human rights in Australia (Thursday, 4 July 2019)

Australia is now the only western country without a comprehensive national human rights framework.  The decision to exclude a Bill of Rights from Australia’s Constitution was deliberate, and although the matter has been revisited on numerous occasions over the past 120 years, there is no political will to change this state of affairs.

While Australia has been a leader in the international human rights arena, and has a strong legislative track record in some areas of anti-discrimination, in other areas of human rights development Australia lags significantly behind her peers.

In this part of the course we will explore the historical reasons for the absence of a Bill of Rights, and look at a number of case studies to examine how the absence of a national framework is leading Australia to develop an increasingly ‘exceptional’ approach to human rights law.

Lecturer:

Dr. Emma Henderson
La Trobe University Melbourne, Australia

5) Human rights in Asia (Friday, 5 July 2019)

In the 1990s, Southeast Asia has a well-documented reserved relationship towards international human rights claiming cultural exceptionalism based on ‘Asian Values’. Since then, Asian countries have ratified a significant number of international human rights albeit with reservations being made on cultural values and religious grounds, mostly referring to Islam. Selected case studies from various countries regarding different human rights will be explored in this part of the course.

Lecturer:

 

Week 2 - Corporate Social Responsibility

1) Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia (Monday & Tuesday, 8 & 9 July 2019)

Part I: A Regional Overview

Corporate Social Responsibility is usually discussed from a Western angle with its foundation grounded in Western philosophy and with a focus on Western practise etc. Yet CSR can be grounded in Asian philosophies and thoughts with alternative practises especially in Asian countries. Selected case studies from different Asian countries and how different business organisations are approaching CSR.

Part II: The Islamic Discourse on Zakat

Zakat is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. It is an obligatory contribution where Muslims’ are required by Islamic law to advance socio-economic welfare and to purify ones’ wealth.

The development of zakat in Malaysia is a narrative that is shaped by different epistemic communities responding to broader political, economic or religious changes. With modern legal arrangement, zakat has shifted from an initially religious practice to something closely tied to political, social and economic structures of the state. This shift has given rise to the creation of a new type of corporate social responsibility, corporate zakat responsibility that is combining Western derived ideas of CSR with Islamic legal elements especially zakat.

Lecturer:

Prof. Dr. Kerstin Steiner
La Trobe University Melbourne, Australia

2) Corporate Social Responsibility (Wednesday, 10 July 2019)

to be announced

Lecturer:

N.N.

3) Corporate Social Responsibility (Thursday, 11 July 2019)

to be announced

Lecturer:

N.N.

4) Corporate Social Responsibility (Friday, 12 July 2019)

to be announced

Lecturer:

Prof. Dr. Alexandra Andhov
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

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