The Global Demotion of Education from Public Good to Commodity – Extraterritorial Human Rights Obligations to Protect and the Legitimate Role of “the Private”

In the past 20 years, a gigantic global education industry has emerged. “Low-cost” private schools are mushrooming in developing countries, universities are run like businesses, and PPPs in education are seen as a “magic bullet.” Liberalisation, globalisation, and digitisation enhance the involvement of foreign private actors in these phenomena. Yet, the enhanced quality, efficiency, and access promised by privatisation does not ensue or comes at a price for human rights. Extraterritorial human rights obligations to protect require states to regulate education providers operating abroad and to make available (human rights-vindicating) private law remedies to foreign victims. Referring to the 2019 Abidjan Principles on private education providers, private international law, “public service” and HRDD obligations, and the SDGs, this paper explains how the business and human rights discourse should be extended to the sphere of transnational education.

Between Legal Impressionism and Political Realism: The Human Rights Obligations into the New EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

On 12th February 2020, the European Parliament (EP) adopted a non-legislative Resolution (P9_TA-PROV(2020)0029, the Resolution) on the Draft Council Decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Investment Protection Agreement between the European Union and its Member States and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. That Resolution include a series of “human rights obstacles” to the effective implementation of the agreement. Furthermore, it must be included into the more ample Partnership between EU and Vietnam. The present proposal aims, inter alia, to analyze the nature of those human rights limits listed into such a resolution of the parliament and their effective impact on the economic relationships between EU and Vietnam. In particular, it will try to reflect about their nature, accountability mechanisms in case of violations, subjects obliged by them.

Vaccine Justice: For a Sustainable Disaster Management Scheme in Response to Pandemics

It has become, amid the pandemic, a matter of global concern how to procure and distribute vaccine in a fair and equitable way without stifling innovation. This work develops key normative rules that might provide a basis for an equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccine in the context of disaster management. The law of disaster management aims to enhance the resilience of the communities affected by way of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Examining the status quo of COVID-19 vaccine supply chains as compared with preceding epidemics, the work assesses the costs and benefits involving the potential waiver, compulsory licensing, access pricing regulation, or any other kinds of potential restriction of relevant patent rights as a part of disaster management scheme. In doing so, the work seeks the clue to striking a balance between innovation and access, taking into account the positive externalities that vaccination has on the public health.

‘Safe Third Country’: A Theory of a Dangerous Concept and the Democratic Ends of International Human Rights

This paper develops a critique of the ‘safe third country’ concept in international asylum law. Thus far, a rich scholarly literature has scrutinized the concept within a particular analytic frame: that of individual rights protection. Focusing on effects of STC rules in EU and N. American jurisdictions, the paper proposes a change in perspective. The change reconceives the fundamental harm of ‘safe third country’ as a violation not, in the first instance, of individual rights but instead of the principle of democratic responsibility. The wrong is better conceptualized as a relational and distributive harm before it is felt as an individual one: relational in that it changes the character of the relationship between removing states and individual refugees; and distributive in that it unfairly maldistributes responsibilities among states for the protection of refugee rights. The paper details the analytic shift’s consequences for vertical and horizontal dimensions of asylum law.