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Multinational Enterprises and Treaty-Making — A Contribution to the Discussion on Non-State Actors and the “Subjects” of International Law

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Part of the Nijhoff Law Specials book series (Nijhoff Law Specials)

Abstract

At the outset I would like to record that I was very pleased to be invited to speak on a topic relating to multinational companies.1 This is so because one of the major research projects of the new Institute of Globalization, International Economic Law and Dispute Settlement (GLODIS) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam concerns the status of multinational companies under international law.2 A closer look, however, revealed that the particular theme “multinational enterprises and treaty-making” appears to be almost a non-topic. It seems that multinational enterprises, at least de lege lata,hardly have a formal role to play in international law, apart from the largely unsuccessful attempts of States to treat them as objects of international regulation. They are actors that barely exist on the formal level of international law. Nevertheless, recently a vivid discussion has emerged on the decline of the State in international relations and international law and on the emergence (or enhanced role) of so-called non-State actors, including such diverse entities as international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), minorities, indigenous peoples, and last not least, multinational enterprises. The discussion often centres on the issue of whether and to what extent they may be regarded as “subjects” of international law.3

Keywords

Foreign Direct Investment Dispute Settlement Multinational Company Multinational Enterprise Legal Personality 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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