Hard Choices, Soft Law : Voluntary Standards in Global Trade, Environment and Social Governance book cover
1st Edition

Hard Choices, Soft Law
Voluntary Standards in Global Trade, Environment and Social Governance

ISBN 9781138277397
Published November 28, 2016 by Routledge
392 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $59.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

An important read for academics and policy-makers alike, Hard Choices, Soft Law asserts that voluntary standards, or 'soft' law, are an important supplement to international law in a number of areas. This key work firstly outlines the approach taken to combining soft and hard law and trade, environment and labour values in the WTO and NAFTA, and in the prospective Millennium Round. Then, using the forestry sector - a realm where formal international law remains largely absent - the book provides a detailed examination of the role of soft law in action. It demonstrates how soft and hard law can be combined to promote trade, environmental and social cohesion, in ways that also permit sustainable development. The book presents a wealth of knowledge from a range of contributors familiar with the work of the G7/G8, the OECD, the Biodiversity Convention and the Codex Alimentarius.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: hard choices and soft law in sustainable global governance, John J. Kirton and Michael J. Trebilcock. Setting Standards for Sustainable Forestry: Nonstate global governance: is forest certification a legitimate alternative to a global forest convention?, Steven Bernstein and Benjamin Cashore; The Forest Stewardship Council: a developing country perspective, Tasso Rezende de Azevedo; Indigenous rights and forest certification in British Columbia, Chris Tollefson. Setting Standards for Labour: Codes of corporate conduct and the labour regulatory state in developing countries, Adelle Blackett; Standard setting at the International Labour Organization: the case of precarious employment, Leah F. Vosko; Hard law or soft law: India and international labour standards, C.S. Venkata Ratnam and Anil Verma; Trade policy and labour standards: objectives, instruments and institutions, Michael J. Trebilcock. Creating Codes of Corporate Responsibility: Corporate social responsibility and the evolution of international norms, Hevina S. Dashwood; The role of nongovernmental organizations and social movements in developing countries, John W. Foster; Multinational corporations, globalization and the challenge of self-regulation, Wesley Cragg; Canadian corporate responsibility in Sudan: why Canada backed down, Robert O. Matthews. International Institutions and Soft Law: The World Trade Organization, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the challenge of sustainable development, Thomas A. Hockin; Integrating environment and labour into the World Trade Organization, Roy MacLaren; The future of the world trading system: beyond Doha, Sylvia Ostry; Enhancing global governance: corporate social responsibility and the international trade and investment framework, Christopher Wilkie; A corporate perspective on globalization, sustainable development and soft law, Michael E. Cloghesy; Terminating agricultural biotechnology? Hard law, voluntary measures and the life sciences industry, Lisa N. Mills; Hard and soft law in international institutions: complements, not alternatives, Nicholas Bayne; Bibliography; Index.

View More


'A central premise of this collection is that informal and voluntary standards can mitigate the deficiencies of formal international law and organizations in several areas including sustainable development and the global environment. The editors refer to these standards as soft law as opposed to hard law (e.g. treaties). The contributors, a first-rate mixture of academics and practitioners and some authors who can be considered both, offer the reader much food for thought on how and when soft law can contribute to regional and global governance...This volume will interest academics and government officials alike.' Jonathan R. Strand, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA 'Practitioners might not consider this an immediately relevant book to them, but it represents an important collection of thinking about how the very nature of the law itself is already changing to meet new world patterns. It is not, therefore, a book to be lightly ignored.' Environmental Law & Management '...this is an important collection of essays that deserves to be carefully read by sholars interested in the dynamics of labor and environmental regulations and standards in the global economy.' The Law and Politics Book Review '...the book is structured in an intelligible and innovative way...The main strengths of the book lie in the breadth of case studies presented and in its much-valued interdisciplinary approach. The contributors' expertise and areas of interest offer a truly global approach to the problématique...' Political Studies Review 'This publication has many assets. Firstly, it is fundamentally a good read. Each author presents an insightful, interesting and thought-provoking discussion for their chosen topic...The sections and forming chapters flow well to provide a sense of continuity...The presentation of the Talisman case, perhaps an episode Canada would rather forget, is a valuable contrast and a worthy inclusion in the book.' European Environmental Law Review '...gives a g