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International Law Standards: Three Dimensions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reviews the salient features of international law relating to sustainable development. This is done through an evaluation of the basic constituent elements of sustainable development – the economic, social and environmental dimensions encapsulated by international economic law, international human rights law and international environmental law. International environmental law in its current manifestations evolved predominantly over the last three decades. The chapter examines whether international human rights law can be an instrument in promoting and protecting basic human rights and freedoms in the context of the investment activities of transnational corporations (TNCs). Sustainable development embraces economic development, environmental protection and human rights. The law and policy relating to sustainable development at the international level deals predominantly with the environmental aspect – less with human rights, and still less with the development dimension, and this is reflected at the regional and domestic levels.

Keywords: environmental protection; international economic law; international environmental law; international human rights law; international law; sustainable development; transnational corporations (TNCs)



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