Navigating the New Contents of International Public Policy - Institute Dossier XXI

No. P820E

ISBN : 978-92-842-0645-2

This Dossier XXI of the ICC Institute of World Business Law explores how compliance with environment and human rights requirements may trigger legal responses based on the various concepts of international public policy. On the one hand, there is an unprecedented movement towards an intensification of corporate governance and mandatory legal rules - international, regional and domestic – with respect to environmental (including climate-related) and human rights protection. On the other hand, these legal rules may be of such imperiousness as to qualify as international public policy, but probably not all of them with the same intensity, not independently of such factors as the responsible behaviour or the damages they seek to apprehend, and not without consideration of the prevailing legal principles in the country where they arise. As a result, judges and arbitrators should not be expected to respond in all such legal situations with a same level of curiosity and willingness to take action.

The contributions in this Dossier are in all respects remarkable in view of the very new, and even prospective, problems they tackle. They start with establishing how compliance, the environment and human rights have become increasingly growing concerns for business and drawing a broad picture of the most striking, and largely converging, developments in both corporate governance and substantive law. These issues are then discussed on the ground of legal principles, both from theoretical and jurisdictional points of view, especially the various and often conflicting trends concerning international public policy. The same questions are subsequently considered from a more practical point of view, that of the roles of judges and arbitrators in environment and human rights-related transnational disputes. Last approached are the problems raised by the essential question of the effectiveness of compliance in environment and human rights.

The contributors are all renowned academics and practitioners among the best in the vast array of legal areas involved and in many different places around the world. Thanks to them, and to their efforts at ascertaining the current state of things in their respective areas and at suggesting prospective approaches for the future, this Dossier has every reason to stand as reference for many years to come. 

Code ISBN : 978-92-842-0645-2
Weight : 0.7110 kgs
Number of pages : 308
Publishing date : 2023
Language : English
Eduardo Silva Romero.... 9
Introductory remarks

Maria Inès Sola and Lauro Da Gama, e Souza Jr.... 10


John W.H. Denton..... 15

Chapter 1

Evolving expectations on business responsibilities for the environment

Stuart Bruce..... 17

I.       Introduction..... 17

II.      Historical evolution of international sustainability policy and business responsibility: 1972-2014..... 17

II.A.   First period, 1972-1991..... 18

II.B.   Second period, 1992-2013..... 18

II.C.   Third period, 2014 to date..... 19

III.     Economic frameworks and developments driving action on business

climate resilience and mitigation..... 20

III.A.  Reporting frameworks and regulations..... 20

III.B.   Moving towards organisational resilience and transition plans..... 21

IV.    Concluding reflections..... 22

Chapter 2

The ‘hardening’ and ‘broadening’ of norms on business and human rights

Douglass Cassel..... 27

I.    Introduction and overview:.... 27

I.A.     ‘Hardening’ of International and Transnational BHR Norms..... 28

I.B.     ‘Broadening’ of international and transnational BHR norms..... 31

I.C.    Following sections..... 31

II.    The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights..... 32

II.A.   Background..... 32

II.B.    The three-part framework on business and human rights..... 33

II.C.   The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights..... 34

III.     The ‘hardening’ of international and transnational norms on business and human rights..... 36

III.A.   Regional and national human rights due diligence legislation with transnational effect..... 36

III.B.   Court judgments against companies..... 45

III.C.   Court judgments against States..... 54

III.D.   Criminal cases..... 57

III.E.   Import controls..... 60

III.F.   Investment Law..... 63

III.G.  Potential UN treaty on business and human rights..... 70

IV.   The ‘broadening’ of international and transnational norms on business and human rights..... 72

IV.A.   Treaties and declarations..... 72

IV.B.   Judicial rulings..... 73

IV.C.   Pending requests for advisory opinions on climate change..... 76

IV.D.   Conclusion on environment..... 76

V.     Conclusion.....  76

Chapter 3

International public policy, related concepts and legal regimes

Pierre Mayer..... 92

I.       The notion and general effect of international public policy..... 92

I.A.     Notion..... 92

I.B.     General effect..... 94

II.      Diversity of situations and legal regimes..... 95

II.A.   Situations that are not affected by the international public policy character of the relevant rules or principles..... 95

II.B.   Distinction between situations involving values and situations in which crucial objectives are pursued..... 96

Chapter 4

International public policy revisited—summary report

Galina Zukova..... 99

Chapter 4a

Human rights, environment and international public policy—key decisions of Switzerland’s highest court

Dorothee Schramm..... 105

I.       International public policy in Swiss private law..... 105

II.      Human rights and international public policy in Switzerland..... 107

II.A.   Swiss public policy in the context of the applicable law..... 107

II.B.    Swiss public policy in the context of recognising and enforcing foreign decisions..... 107

II.C.   Transnational public policy in the context of a challenge against a Swiss international arbitral award..... 108

II.D.   Observations..... 110

III.     Do environmental protections form part of international public policy in Switzerland?..... 110

IV.    Conclusion..... 112

Chapter 4b

Climate change, human rights, and international public policy: an Asia-Pacific perspective

Swee Yen Koh, SC and Alessa Pang..... 115

I.       International public policy—a definitional quagmire..... 116

II.      Asia-Pacific case studies..... 117

II.A.  Australia..... 117

II.B.  India..... 118

II.C.  Pakistan..... 119

II.D.  The Philippines..... 120

III.     Future developments..... 122

IV.    Conclusion—beyond domestic climate change litigation.... 123

Chapter 4c

U.S. public policy cases relating to the concepts of international public policy

and public policy relating to the protection of human rights and the environment

Matthew Draper..... 127

I.       “International public policy” in the U.S. at present..... 127

II.      Principle of comity..... 127

III.     Overriding the applicable law?..... 127

IV.    Arbitrators and the applicable public policy..... 127

V.     Will future cases confirm the trend concerning public policy and protection of the environment?....128

VI.    Case study.... 129

Chapter 4d

Latin America perspective

Martim Della Valle..... 131

I.       Public policy in Latin America: a short recap..... 131

II.      Main recent cases..... 132

II.A.   Brazil: Civil Appeal No. 0003947-44.2012.4.01.3600, First Federal Regional Court (30 November 2016)..... 132

II.B.   Brazil: Civil Appeal No. 0025999-75.2010.4.01.3900, First Federal Regional Court (26 March 2014)..... 133

II.C.   Brazil: Interlocutory Appeal No. 5003779-88.2021.4.04.0000/SC,

Fourth Federal Regional Court (27 April 2021)..... 133

II.D.   Mexico: Unconstitutionality Action 110/2019 (19 May 2022)..... 133

II.E.   Mexico: Unconstitutionality Action 204/2020 (7 June 2022)..... 134

II.F.    Mexico: Unconstitutionality Action 18/2021 (12 August 2021)..... 134

II.G.   Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Case of Alvarado Espinoza et al. v Mexico (28 November 2018)..... 134

II.H.   Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Case of the Miskito Divers (Lemoth Morris et al.) v Honduras (31 August 2021)..... 134

III.     Conclusion..... 135

Chapter 5

The duties and powers of judges and arbitrators in relation to public policy when faced with environmental and human rights issues

Lucinda A Low..... 138

I.       International human rights and environmental norms in general..... 139

I.A.     Human rights..... 139

I.B.     The Environment..... 140

II. Emerging and evolving corporate social responsibility, business and human rights, and ESG standards..... 142

II.A.   International norms and guidance..... 143

II.B.   Sector-, issue- or activity-specific standards and the UN Guiding Principles..... 144

II.C.   National and regional binding norms..... 145

II.D.   Anti-corruption.... 147

II.E.   Compliance implications..... 148

III.     Public policy: domestic, international and transnational..... 149

III.A.  Initial observations..... 149

III.B.  IPP/TPP and corruption..... 150

III.C.  Environmental and human rights norms and public policy..... 152

IV.    Powers of arbitrators and judges in relation to public policy..... 156

V.     Environmental and human rights issues in arbitration..... 157

V.A.  Investor-State..... 157

V.B.  International commercial arbitration..... 162

V.C.  Other issues..... 163

Chapter 6

The role of judges and arbitrators in transnational business and human rights disputes

Hélène Ruiz Fabri and Gustavo Becker..... 182

I.       Introduction..... 182

II.      Transnational business and human rights disputes..... 184

III.     Business and human rights litigation: litigating before courts from home and host States.... 186

III.A.  Litigating before courts of host States..... 187

III.B.   Transnational business and human rights: litigating before courts of home States..... 188

IV.    Beyond national courts: the rise of alternative dispute resolution for transnational business and human rights disputes..... 192

IV.A. Independent grievance mechanisms..... 193

IV.B.  Arbitration..... 195

V.   Transnational business and human rights disputes through arbitration and the role of arbitrators..... 197

V.A.   The Bangladesh Accord arbitrations..... 198

V.B.   The Hague Rules on business and human rights arbitration..... 201

V.C.  An assessment of the need for procedural adaptations to accommodate business and human rights demands into

arbitral proceedings..... 204

VI.    Conclusion..... 207

Chapter 7

Role and responsibilities of States to ensure MNEs compliance with environment and human rights obligations

Makane Moïse Mbengue and Damien Charlotin.... 215

I.       Introduction..... 215

II.      Obligations of States under International Law..... 216

II.A.   Customary International Law..... 216

II.B.    A new generation of international instruments..... 219

III.     Implementing MNEs obligations and holding them accountable..... 222

III.A.  Prosecuting MNEs in Domestic Courts..... 222

III.B.   Non-compliance as a relevant consideration for mnes rights and obligations..... 223

IV.    The way forward—international compliance disputes..... 224

IV.A. Adjudicatory bodies for environment and human rights..... 225

IV.B.  Arbitration and mediation..... 225

Chapter 8

Effectiveness of compliance in environment and human rights-appropriate reparations: corrective actions, affectation of proceeds and rehabilitation over time

José Manuel García Represa..... 230

I.       Introduction..... 230

I.A.    The present: much has been achieved thus far, but still a long road ahead of us..... 230

I.B.    Has international arbitration a role to play for reparations in the future?..... 232

I.C.    Where do we go from here?..... 233

II.      Reparations of environmental harm..... 233

II.A.   Corrective actions..... 234

II.B.   Rehabilitation over time..... 235

II.C.   Affectation or earmarking of proceeds to environmental restoration objectives..... 237

III.    Achieving appropriate and effective reparations in international arbitration..... 240

III.A. The challenges of ascertaining appropriate reparations of environmental harm through international arbitration proceedings..... 240

III.B.  Driving change to ensure effective reparations of environmental harm through international arbitration..... 245

IV.    Conclusion..... 252

Chapter 9

Effectiveness of compliance with environment and human rights at the post-award stage

Maxi Scherer..... 259

I.       Introduction..... 259

II.      International Commercial Arbitration..... 259

II.A.   Environmental norms and human rights as general concept of public policy..... 260

II.B.   Environmental norms and human rights as overriding mandatory norms..... 261

III.     Investment arbitration..... 262

IV.    Conclusion..... 264

Closing remarks

Patrick Thieffry..... 268

Table of cases..... 280

Biographies..... 288

ICC Dispute Resolution Publications..... 301

About ICC..... 308

Edited by

Lauro Da Gama, e Souza Jr

Maria Inès Sola 

Patrick Thieffry

Authors (as they appear in the publication)

Eduardo Silva Romero

Maria Inès Sola 

Lauro Da Gama, e Souza Jr

John W.H. Denton

Stuart Bruce

Douglass Cassel

Pierre Mayer

Galina Zukova

Dorothee Schramm

Swee Yen Koh, SC

Alessa Pang

Matthew Draper

Martim Della Valle

Lucinda A Low

Hélène Ruiz Fabri

Gustavo Becker

Makane Moïse Mbengue

Damien Charlotin

José Manuel García Represa

Maxi Scherer

Patrick Thieffry