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The duty of non-recognition revisited: exploring the option of introducing a positive due diligence obligation upon states to regulate private business activities in occupied territories. (FWOTM1014)

It has been well-established that by operating in occupied territories, private businesses play a significant role in maintaining military occupations. However, under existing international law, no options are open for taking direct action against such economic dealings in occupied territories. This creates a legal vacuum in the protection of the local population under occupation and paves the way for businesses to profit from normalised breaches of international law.

Various branches of international law, such as e.g. human rights law and IHL, are currently experimenting with the option of imposing a positive, due diligence obligation upon home states in order to regulate extraterritorial conduct of private businesses. This research will test if this technique can also be transposed to the states’ duty of non-recognition in the context of military occupations. This duty would hence not only oblige home states not to recognise situations breaching norms of jus cogens, but also to take all necessary domestic measures to ensure that their corporate nationals do not contribute to maintaining these illegal occupations.

By introducing this novel, positive approach to the duty of nonrecognition, this PhD will introduce an innovative legal framework for states to tackle problematic business activities in occupied territories and provide concrete guidelines on how policymakers, law practitioners, businesses and NGOs should cope with the obligation’s implications on the ground.
Date:1 Nov 2020 →  31 Oct 2022
Keywords:States' duty of non-recognition, Private business activities in occupied territories, Due diligence obligations under international law
Disciplines:Human rights law , International law, Liability law