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As labour and capital markets transcend domestic borders, the objectives of labour law can no longer be confined solely to actions within the nation state. The purpose of this subject is two-fold. First, to identify the diverse components of international employment and labour law, the institutions, the claims and the methods for advancing social protection to workers worldwide. This enquiry spans beyond traditional instruments that are associated with labour law, and includes trade law and corporate social responsibility. It further seeks to embed the study of legal instruments in the broader economic and sociological debates on globalisation. The second goal is to critically assess how international developments affect domestic labour law with a particular focus on the European Union, the United States, China and India.
Principal topics include:
- The importance of the concept of globalisation in understanding national systems of labour regulation
- The composition, powers and functioning of international organisations that regulate labour internationally, including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Union (EU)
- The relevance of different theories of international regulation
- The usefulness of a comparative approach to labour law, including consideration of the major models of labour regulation like the Wagner Model in the United States and Canada
- The role of intergovernmental and corporate codes of conduct in securing international labour standards
- The emerging challenges posed by the use of migrant, contingent and precarious workers in the global economy
- The success of adopting a human rights approach to labour regulation in the face of changes to domestic and international labour law frameworks.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of international employment law, including recent developments in this field of law and practice
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal regimes and approaches
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field, such as globalisation and the use of contingent workers
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving the revision of the international legal framework
- Have an advanced understanding of situations in which issues of international employment law arise
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to international employment law and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to international law in the workplace
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding international employment law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of international employment law.
Last updated: 3 November 2022