10 October 2018
Public Procurement, WTO, Private Standards, Business and Human Rights, Global Supply Chain Regulation, Directive 2014/24 EU, Extraterritoriality, Territorial Extension, Jurisdiction in International Law
With the globalisation of supply chains, the respect for human rights and labour standards in procurement practices has become a crucial priority also in the domestic regulation of public procurement. This paper focuses on two specific characteristics of the use of public procurement regulation for the enforcement of human rights and labour standards: its extraterritorial effects on companies and firms across different jurisdictions and its reliance on private certifications and labels. Both of these new aspects are evident within the new 2014 EU Procurement Directives, which includes a number of far-reaching regulatory features that facilitate the monitoring of the respect for human rights and labour standards of contractors and subcontractors across borders. However, this new dimension of public procurement has the potential to create tension within the framework of multilateral trade governance, specifically, the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade regime.