Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law


Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law

9781786437648 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Adelle Blackett, Professor of Law, Canada Research Chair in Transnational Labour Law and Development and Director of the Labour Law and Development Research Laboratory, McGill University, Canada and Anne Trebilcock, University of Göttingen (Institut für Arbeitsrecht), Germany and former Legal Adviser of the International Labour Organization
Publication Date: 2016 ISBN: 978 1 78643 764 8 Extent: 608 pp
The editors’ substantive introduction and the specially commissioned chapters in the Handbook explore the emergence of transnational labour law as a field, along with its contested contours. The expansion of traditional legal methods, such as treaties, is juxtaposed with the proliferation of contemporary alternatives such as indicators, framework agreements and consumer-led initiatives. Key international and regional institutions are studied for their coverage of such classic topics as freedom of association, equality, and sectoral labour standard-setting, as well as for the space they provide for dialogue. The volume underscores transnational labour law’s capacity to build bridges, including on migration, climate change and development.

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Critical Acclaim
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The editors’ substantive introduction and the specially commissioned chapters in this Handbook explore the emergence of transnational labour law and its contested contours by juxtaposing the expansion of traditional legal methods with the proliferation of contemporary alternatives such as indicators, framework agreements and consumer-led initiatives. Key international (ILO, IMF, OECD) and regional (EU, IACHR, SADC) institutions are studied for their coverage of such classic topics as freedom of association, equality, and sectoral labour standard-setting, as well as for the space they provide for dialogue. The volume underscores transnational labour law’s capacity to build hard and soft law bridges to migration, climate change and development. The volume roots transnational labour law in a counter-hegemonic struggle for social justice.

Bringing together the scholarship of 41 experts from around the globe, this book encompasses and goes beyond the role of international and regional organizations in relation to labour standards and their enforcement, providing new insights into debates around freedom of association, equality and the elimination of forced labour and child labour. By including the influence of consumers in supply chains alongside the more traditional actors in this field such as trade unions, it combines a range of perspectives both theoretical and contextual. Several chapters interrogate whether transnational labour law can challenge domestic labour law’s traditional exclusions through expansive approaches to equality.

The volume moves beyond WTO linkage debates of the past to consider emerging developments toward social regionalism. Several chapters explore and challenge public and private international aspects of transnational labour law, revealing some fragmentation alongside dynamic experimentation and normative settling. The book argues that “social justice” is at least as important to the project of transnational labour law today as it was to the establishment of international labour law.

Academics, students and practitioners in the fields of labour law, international law, human rights, political science, transnational studies, and corporate social responsibility, will benefit from this critical resource, given the book’s eye-opening examination of labour governance in the contemporary economy.
Critical Acclaim
‘The list of 41 authors of this Handbook reads like a roll-call of the rising generation of scholars of labour law as well as a number of distinguished old hands. This is not a conventional textbook on transnational labour law but a series of short and stimulating essays on important current issues. It provides an invaluable guide for all those who want to think and write about the transnational influences that shape the modern world of work.’
– Sir Bob Hepple QC FBA, University of Cambridge, UK

‘The chapters in this thoroughly useful reference book on current developments and challenges in TLL provide very thoughtful, up-to-date and "to the point" commentary and insights.’
– Alan Boulton, Monash University and Fair Work Commission, Australia

Contributors: Z. Adams, P.C. Albertson, J. Allain, R.-M.B. Antoine, A. Asante, P.H. Bamu, M. Barenberg, J.R. Bellace, G. Bensusán, A. Blackett, L. Boisson de Chazournes, S. Charnovitz, B. Chigara, K. Claussen, L. Compa, S. Cooney, S. Deakin, J.M. Diller, D.J. Doorey, R.-C. Drouin, P.M. Dumas, F.C. Ebert, C. Estlund, J. Hunt, K. Kolben, C. La Hovary, B. Langille, J. López López, I. Martin, F. Maupain, F. Milman-Sivan, R.S. Mudarikwa, A. Nononsi, T. Novitz, C. Sheppard, A.A. Smith, A. Suktahnkar, J.-M. Thouvenin, A. Trebilcock, A. van Hoek, R.Zimmer



1. Conceptualizing Transnational Labour Law
Adelle Blackett and Anne Trebilcock

A Transnational Labour Law’s Methods
2. Global Organizing and Domestic Constraints
Ashwini Sukthankar

3. Corporate Governance Structures and Practices: From Ordeal to Opportunities and Challenges for Transnational Labour Law
Isabelle Martin

4. A ‘Dialogic’ Approach In Perspective
Laurence Boisson De Chazournes

5. International Labour Indicators: Conceptual and Normative Snares
Mark Barenberg

6. Due Diligence on Labour Issues – Opportunities and Limits of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Anne Trebilcock

B Challenging Austerity, Facing Development: The North-South Challenge to Transnational Labour Law
7. Structural Adjustment, Economic Governance and Social Policy in a Regional Context: The Case of the Eurozone Crisis
Zoe Adams and Simon Deakin

8. International Financial Institutions’ Approaches to Labour Law: The Case of the International Monetary Fund
Franz Christian Ebert

9. Racism and the Regulation of Migrant Labour
Adrian A. Smith

10. China’s Challenge to Labour Law in both the Global North and the Global South
Sean Cooney

11. Anti-Austerity Activism Strategies: Combining Protest and Litigation in Spain
Julia López López

A Freedom of Association in the Specificity of Labour Law

12. Pushback on the Right to Strike: Resisting the Thickening of Soft Law
Janice R. Bellace

13. The Right to Take Collective Action: Prospects for Change in European Court of Justice Case Law in Light of European Court of Human Rights Decisions
Reingard Zimmer

14. Freedom of Association in Deliberative Spaces: The ILO Credentials Committee
Faina Milman-Sivan

15. Freedom Of Association In International Framework Agreements
Renée-Claude Drouin

16. Transnational Labour Law and Collective Autonomy for Marginalized Workers: Reflections on Decent Work for Domestic Workers
Adelle Blackett

B On Human Rights and Equality: Does Transnational Labour Law Provide Spaces and Vehicles to Challenge Domestic Labour Law’s Exclusions?
17. Inclusive Equality and New Approaches to Discrimination in Transnational Labour Law
Colleen Sheppard

18. Working Together Transnationally
Cynthia Estlund

19. Can Human Rights Based Labour Policy Improve the Labour Rights Situation in Developing Countries? A Look at Mexico and the Countries of Central America
Graciela Bensusán

20. Constitutionalising Labour in the Inter-American System on Human Rights
Rose-Marie Belle Antoine

C Emerging Roles for the ILO as an Actor in Transnational Labour Law
21. ILO Normative Action In Its Second Century: Escaping The Double Bind?
Francis Maupain

22. The ILO’s Supervisory Bodies’ ‘Soft Law Jurisprudence’
Claire La Hovary

23. Pluralism and Privatization in Transnational Labour Regulation: Experience of the International Labour Organization
Janelle M. Diller

24. Emergent Maritime Labour Law: Possible Implications for other Transnational Labour Fields
Aimée Asante and Ben Chigara

A Thickening Soft Law? ‘Privatising’ or Infusing Transnational Labour Law with Public International Law Norms?

25. Transnational Private Labour Regulation, Consumer-Citizenship and the Consumer Imaginary
Kevin Kolben

26. Thickening Soft Law Through Consumocratic Law: A Pragmatic Approach
P. Martin Dumas

27. Diffusion and Leveraging of Transnational Labour Norms by the OECD
Jean-Marc Thouvenin

28. The Use of Arbitration to Decide International Labour Issues
Kathleen Claussen

B Beyond WTO Linkage: Emerging Directions and Social Regionalism
29. What The World Trade Organization Learned From The International Labour Organization
Steve Charnovitz

30. Harnessing the Governance Capacity of the European Union: Transnational Labour Law Responses to the Exploitation of Migrant Agricultural Workers
Jo Hunt

31. Private International Law Rules for Transnational Employment: Reflections from the European Union
Aukje Van Hoek

32. Social Regionalism in the Southern Africa Development Community: The International, Regional and National Interplay of Labour Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
Pamhidai H. Bamu and Rutendo Mudarikwa

33. Labour Rights and Trade Agreements in the Americas
Paula Church Albertson and Lance Compa

C The Transnational Challenge to the Regulation of Labour as a Factor of Production: on Commodification
34. Trading in Services – Commodities and Beneficiaries
Tonia Novitz

35. The Curious Incident of the ILO, Myanmar and Forced Labour
Brian Langille

36. The Implications of Preparatory Works for the Debate Regarding Slavery, Servitude and Forced Labour
Jean Allain

37. Child Labour and Fragile States in Sub-Saharan Africa: Reflections on Regional and International Responses
Aristide Nononsi

38. A Transnational Law of Just Transitions for Climate Change and Labour
David J. Doorey


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