Comparative Law: International & Comparative Labour Law

Quick Info
(3040N.03)  Seminar
M. Azeem; Adjunct Professor
3 credit(s)  2 hour(s);
Seminar, discussions
Upper Year Research & Writing Requirement

This course charts three significant shifts in international labour law that came about as part of the neoliberal market economy in the name of ‘flexibility of labour and production.’ First of all, labour law has been reduced into a moral obligation, declaration-based, promotional, and ‘soft law’ through labour codes of Global Supply Chains (GSCs), the GSP+ status of the European Union and the like. Secondly, labour lawyers and activists have started using the private law of torts and damages against GSCs to redress the labour grievances for violations of their labour codes. Third, instead of focusing on formal, organized labour, with ‘freedom of association’ and collective bargaining, the ILO, international donor agencies, and labour NGOs are increasingly focusing on informal labour, child labour, bonded labour, home-based workers, and other such marginalized sectors of labour.
These changes reflect a major shift in the theory and philosophy of international labour law. This course will attempt to explain and explore this significant shift through initially a historical and interdisciplinary journey through the development of the theory and philosophy of international labour law. The second and major part of the course will explore labour law during the era of neoliberal globalization by exploring debates around the ILO/WTO in the 1990s and third world states, U.S., trade unions, labour, and human rights NGOs. The reading will comprise critical labour literature and case law related to complaints against GSCs in international fora and local courts.