Business and Human Rights; Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) –; Global Value Chains (GVCs); Transnational Corporations (TNCs) –; Germany
[en] In the last ten or so years a ‘new kid on the block’ has arrived on the Business and Human Rights scene; that is, the use of domestic legislation to regulate theGlobal Value Chains (GVCs) of Transnational Corporations (TNCs). The intention behind these so called ‘supply chain laws’ is to (begin to) hold TNCs accountable for violations of human rights and environmental norms within the context of their operations. This need for national legislation can be partly
attributed to the fact that the international level has been plagued with paralysis
in attempting to come up with binding rules to regulate the behaviour of TNCs.1 In fact, it is only as recently as August 2020 that the Second Revised Draft of the binding treaty on TNCs and human rights has been completed and awaits next steps. Given this regulatory gap in the international legal
sphere, the mushrooming of domestic supply chain laws in diverse countries
such as the United States of America (USA), France and Germany (which on 11 June 2021 finally passed a corporate due diligence in supply chains law, the ‘Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz – LkSG’) sets the stage for this paper’s analysis of these laws in light of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL), a critical scholarly network that offers a distinctive way of thinking
about international law. ‘TWAIL scholarship has addressed multiple issues related to society, politics, identity, and economics – with an underlying commitment to democratic values and concerns in relations within and between the Third World and developed countries’ and (as will be shown in subsequent sections of this article) can and should be extended to an analysis of domestic supply chain laws that are ‘made in the First World’.