The ideology of human rights protection has gained considerable momentum during the second half of the twentieth century at both national and international level and appears to be an effective lever for bringing about legal change. This book analyzes this strategy in economic and commercial policy and considers the transportation of the 'public law' discourse of basic human rights protection into the 'commercial law' context of economic policy, business activity and corporate behaviour. The volume will prove indispensable for anyone interested in human rights, international law, and business and commercial law.
Contents: Preface; Introduction: rights talk in the domain of supply and demand. Part I Theoretical Issues: A fracas in the cosmetics market: competing rights and the spectrum of economic actors; The Sun, Liverpudlians and 'the truth': a corporate right to human rights?; Profit in the beef industry and human health: consumer rights as basic human rights; Taking the WTO to task in Seattle: basic rights protection as a legal strategy and the political and legal leverage of rights argument. Part II Testing Grounds: Antitrust recidivists as rights crusaders: fashioning producer rights in Europe; The European laboratory: the construction of consumer rights in Europe; Transatlantic trade wars: producer and consumer rights on the global stage; Freedom of expression in the market place. Part III Concluding Comments: Rights talk in the marketplace: 'nonsense on stilts'?; Select bibliography; Index.