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This symposium turns to a major debate within a field of international law that has moved from the periphery to center stage in just a few decades—business and human rights, or BHR: Can and should international law's approach to the human rights impacts of business activity shift from today's mostly soft-law framework to a multilateral treaty regime? While advocates for and against such a treaty debate this point at the UN Human Rights Council and other venues, this symposium examines the problem from four theoretical perspectives. Each contribution offers insights for practitioners and scholars alike, but they suggest no easy answers.


Copyright © 2020 by Steven R. Ratner. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.