La transparence en droit des affaires

Selon Jean-Christophe Duhamel, dans son œuvre 2001-2010 : dix ans de transparence en droit des sociétés, « la transparence est dépositaire d’une charge éthique qu’il faut insuffler dans le capitalisme contemporain » et il est vrai que la transparence sous-tend aujourd’hui avec éthique, les opérations entre les agents économiques de la sphère capitaliste. En effet, la transparence a pour vertu d’assurer la sécurité et la confiance mutuelle des acteurs et également de dynamiser et de faire vivre le monde du commerce.

C’est pourquoi le Droit et notamment le droit commercial s’est efforcé d’appréhender la notion de transparence en l’absence même de définition légale. De manière générale, nous définirons la transparence (du latin « transparens » : à travers) comme l’ensemble des dispositions permettant une information fiable et accessible des décisions et des activités pour tous les acteurs (organes de la société, organismes, autorités administratives, autorités légales, parties prenantes…). Continuer la lecture de La transparence en droit des affaires

On the universalism of human rights

According to the Preamble of the United Nations Charter (June 26th, 1945), “We the people of the United Nations [are] determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to regain faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.” If the second half of the 20th century has been often described as the “Age of Rights” following with the end of WWII, it is because the idea of international human rights became a possible reality under the aegis of the United Nations: along with these agencies across the globe, the UN turned the human rights into one of the main areas of international law (if not the main area of international law). But can we consider that the diversity of the United Nations and the multiculturalism of its subjects of international law (States as well as citizens) make themselves null and void the core concept of “universal human rights”? Indeed, the Universalist view of the United Nations can meet some limits even if its goal is the most commendable. The United Nations is the international organization with the most international State membership around the world: from 51 Members States in 1945, the UN is now composed by 193 States and 2 non-member permanent observer States. Unfortunately, some States in the world remain outside the scope of the United Nations and what is more, this international body suffers from a Western hegemony at different levels. We can take a quick look to the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution (September 17th, 1787) to notice that: the exact motto “We the People” could be confused with Preamble to the United Nations Charter. Perhaps the most symbolic fact is that the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of France (nicknamed affectionately “the country of human rights”), served almost as a verbatim copy for the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (December 10th, 1948). Some countries could feel they do not belong to this “universal” system created by the most powerful countries and maybe only for these countries. Does the incapacity of the international human rights law to respect the cultural relativism of nations and be universal represent the failure to our international system? We deeply disagree. Well, if we acknowledge that the Universalist view of human rights could not sound realistic, the continued construction of this specific international body gives us hope and prevent us to fall into the most macabre cynicism. Let us explain why by taking the problem from a different angle.
Some commentators such as the former judge of the International Court of Justice, Thomas Burgenthal1 affirm that the modern human rights body that we have inherited from the League of Nations was already towards minorities. For example, if the Treaty of Versailles is often the only treaty cited for referring to the aftermaths of World War I, it is important to know that the Allied Powers concluded several human rights treaties with a group of countries such as Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, Romania, Turkey, and Yugoslavia in order to protect the rights of the minorities living in those countries. Even then, the international body had the vow to establish a state of peace between all countries but also protect in priority some minorities. Can we conclude then that by erecting rights at the universal level, our human rights system have the will to protect the most excluded populations? It could be a satisfactory answer according me. To my humble opinion, the human rights body will grow with additional specific treaties and agreements towards minorities, developing countries and the most oppressed citizen of the world. Our answer to the criticisms brought against the Universalist view of human rights will be the following statement: like the French Declaration of the Rights of the Man and the Citizen served as the draft for the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the UN primary body of human rights from the 20th century is just the first generation of a legal corpus fated to expand by itself. For instance, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) followed the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration even if they are not the only international treaties addressing human rights:

– The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (December 21st, 1965)
– Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (November 30th, 1973)
– U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (November 20th, 1989)
– The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (December 18th, 1979)

All these treaties seem to pursue an opposite goal to the all-inclusive goal of primary treaties the United Nations gave us such as the Declaration of Human Rights. However, these treaties are more than necessary since they guarantee with an additional force the protection of minorities and specific groups subject to injustices and violations of fundamental rights. Our world changes every day as new legal issues emerge with a relentless mechanism. The only choice we have is to keep up and provide citizens of the world with all the legal protection we can offer. Consequently, we have to accept that the Universalist human rights body has to remain a utopia but it remains a utopia we can have the audacity to pursue. Our duty as a researcher, professor, lawyer and practitioner in this particular area of law is to fill the blanks and connect the dots for a, not Universalist, but more perfect international human rights law.
“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days… nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”

Malcolm Biiga

May 2016

About the question of legitimacy in transnational issues

One of the most important topics about transnational issues is the question of legitimacy. The decision-making process, for projects lead by transnational organizations needs to be legitimate. A large number of academic papers deal with this issue, in the field of strategic management. One aim of these papers is to identify different types of organizational innovations which ensure the legitimacy of the projects. This legitimacy can be built through the creation of transnational norms, especially in the field of sustainable development. These considerations use managerial and legal points of view. In a paper written for the International Association of Strategic Management (Association Internationale de Management Stratégique), we present a reflection on these issues. The summary of this paper (in french), can be found below. Its title is « From environmental innovation to sustainable innovation ».

Résumé :

L’objectif de cette communication est de préciser à quelles conditions un processus d’innovation peut être soutenable et non simplement responsable d’un point de vue environnemental. La notion de capacité d’absorption, si elle est utilisée au niveau inter-organisationnel, permet de répondre à cette question en déterminant les facteurs-clés permettant l’intégration de l’ensemble des parties prenantes d’un territoire à chacune des étapes du processus d’innovation. L’étude d’un cas portant sur l’échec de cinq projets d’implantation d’unités industrielles hydroélectriques, au Chili, de 2007 à 2012, permet de préciser la nature de cette approche inclusive dans la définition de projets innovants impactant de nombreux acteurs à l’échelle du territoire. Les résultats de cette étude précisent trois points sur (1) l’intérêt d’une approche inclusive, (2) sur l’intérêt d’une approche contextualisée et (3) sur l’intérêt de penser le processus d’innovation à un niveau territorial.


Transnational law

Transnational law is a new fiel of law. Global law firms are more and more practicing transnational law such as transnational arbitration, Corporate Compliance, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Energy, Mining & Infrastructure, Environmental, Financial Institutions, Information Technology & Communications, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Mergers & Acquisitions, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Private Equity, Real Estate, Securities, Tax , trade and commerce… All around the “world” of research, centers on transnational law, that is to say the globalization of law are created, teaching programs and magazines devoted to it. Topics gradually are specified: « transnational studies »”global justice”, “global governance”. Extractive activities best exemplify the world economic and politic shift, to the South and East, with the emergence of new transnational players that are multinational corporations, NGOs, local populations, alongside the States and international organizations. Extractive activities are the exploration, discovery but also developing, extracting and exploiting of minerals, oil and natural gas through international Private-Public-Partnerships. Linking these practitionners, but also centers and researchers spread across continents, then enable lawyers and researchers to better connect with the great technical and scientific debates of the transnational law- and with this transnational community of researchers and practitionners in training. This also allows a renewed dialogue between professionnal lawyers and academics, law and social science, research on transnationalization being characterized by an abandonment of legal positivism and openness to the practice of law and also to the social science (“Law and …”). The network of practitioners and researcheurs will analyze and better distinguish the emerging professionnel practices of law, as well as academic debates.

International Society for Extractive Law and Practives

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