(Laws) Made in the “First World”: A TWAIL Critique of the Use of Domestic Legislation to Extraterritorially Regulate Global Value Chains
In the last ten or so years a “new kid on the block” has arrived on the Business and Human Rights (BHR) scene; that is, the use of domestic legislation to regulate the Global 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 behavior of TNCs. In fact, it is only as recently as August 2020 that the Second Revised Draft 1 of the binding treaty on TNCs and human rights has been completed and awaits next steps. 2 In light of this regulatory gap in the international legal sphere, the mushrooming of domestic supply chain laws in diverse countries such as USA, France and Germany sets the stage for this paper’s analysis of these laws in light of Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL). This is in homage to the very cogent concerns already raised by TWAIL scholars (TWAILers) in numerous differing areas of international law and which (as will be shown in subsequent sections of this article) can and should be extended to an analysis of domestic supply chain laws.