This article argues that the discipline and profession of international economic law has undergone a significant architectural change to focus on human rights law as both the premise and promise of the international economic system. Contrary to prevailing currents that focus on the irrelevance of the global economic system to realize human rights, this article argues that international economic law tools have already been converging within the last decade to authentically realize the Right to Development of individuals, groups, and populations. The Draft Convention on the Right to Development defines the right as the enjoyment, participation, and contribution of individuals, groups, and populations towards their civil, economic, political, social, and cultural development, in a manner that is based on and consistent with all human rights and fundamental freedoms. The tools of treaty reform, accountability processes and mechanisms, adjudication innovations, civil society engagement, and the pedagogic transformation of international economic law critique the realization and implementation of human rights. All are converging to place human rights at the center of global economic decision-making. The global COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic, social, and political crises sharpen the necessity for international economic law to evolve towards the definition of the right to development as development that is “based on and consistent with all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Coming Full Circle on Human Rights in The Global Economy: International Economic Law Tools to Realize the Right to Development,
Loy. U. Chi. Int'l L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawecommons.luc.edu/lucilr/vol18/iss1/2