International Labour Law

Upon completion of the course, the students will :
Understand the institutional and legislative framework relating to the ILO and the other international organisations involved in the protection of social rights ;
Acquire a thorough knowledge of the regulation of work and the role of labour and social security law at international level (ILO, UN, Council of Europe and other regional organisations) ;

Have a thorough understanding and knowledge of the ILO’s tripartite structure which seeks after an equal voice for workers, employers and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and of other initiatives of the employers and workers’ organisations such as international framework agreements.
Have insight into the private regulatory mechanisms emerging in the transnational setting of multinational corporations ;
Be able to analyse labour law and decent work issues in the context of different national legal systems from the perspective of international labour law ;
Be able to build up a case concerning a supply-chain in a multinational company, in which both international public law and other legal doctrines are applied with the aim to remedy violations of fundamental labour rights.

The impact of globalisation of trade on labour law and the protection of workers’ rights is potentially vast. In order to present themselves as suitable places of establishment or production of goods and services, countries are tempted to compete on the price of labour. Labour law that covers all workers in the supply-chain is non-existent and ‘old-school’ methods of legislating are insufficient to deal with this issue. During the course this problem will be reviewed and developments will be studied. Through a general introduction in international labour law students will be made familiar with the institutional framework of the International Labour Organisation and the legal nature of international labour law (from both a global and a regional perspective), and various legislative techniques, material aspects and the impact of international social law on the national legal orders. Recent developments in international labour law concerning the application of private law doctrines on liability and tort on breach of human rights by multinational corporations will be studied and students will work on effective cures and remedies.
Through the course several topics are discussed :
the institutional framework within which international labour law has come into existence ;
the legal nature of international labour law and the functioning of the ILO ;
the main principles of international labour law and core labour standards concerning collective rights, prohibition of forced and child labour, and discrimination in respect of employment and working conditions ; methods to apply international labour law in the supply-chain of multinational corporations ; case-law (f.i. Wal-mart, Adidas, Coca cola) concerning the application of international labour law ;alternative regulation, corporate codes and international collective bargaining ; the impact of international labour law on the national legal order.

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