The HRFG programme is pleased to invite you to the book launch of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in International Law: Contemporary Issues and Challenges  in collaboration with Oxford University Press.

Edited by Eibe Riedel, Gilles Giacca, and Christophe Golay

Recent years have seen a remarkable expansion in the scale and importance of economic, social, and cultural rights (ESC rights) within international law, culminating in the adoption of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in December 2008, which gave individuals and groups the ability to bring complaints about rights violations before the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In this context, this important and timely book centres on the question of how the fundamental socio-economic human rights that are enshrined in international law are defined, interpreted, understood, and implemented. It assesses how effective efforts have been in realising ESC rights by investigating the contemporary challenges obstructing their protection. It investigates the impact of the global financial crisis and austerity measures, the human rights responsibilities of corporations, and the trends in the justiciability of those rights at the national and international level. The interrelationship between ESC rights and other legal regimes such as international economic law, trade and investment law, environmental law, international criminal law, or international humanitarian law is also thoroughly examined. It provides a careful analysis of the new tools and indicators available to measure the progressive realisation of ESC rights.

This book clarifies and illuminates multiple aspects of the law governing ESC rights by bringing together the different aspects of ESC rights, restating the challenges they face, and assessing the progress that has been made in expanding their adoption. After an introduction by the editors on ESC rights and the contemporary issues that impact their realisation, the book contains seventeen further essays on the main questions which couch the progressive realisation of ESC rights and their monitoring mechanisms. The authors of the chapters, both scholars and practitioners, adopt interdisciplinary approaches that move beyond traditional analyses of ESC rights, contextualising their discussions through wider contemporary international law challenges. In reflecting this diversity of perspectives, this book sheds light on new methodologies for the implementation of ESC rights as well as the various obstacles they face.

Eibe Riedel is Emeritus Professor of German and Comparative Public Law, European and International Law at the University of Mannheim/Germany, and a former member
of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, Geneva. He is a judge at the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration, chairs the Board of Trustees of the German Institute of Human Rights, Berlin, and is a director of the Institute of Medical Law, Bioethics and Public Health of the Universities of Mannheim and Heidelberg, as well as a director and founder of the Mannheim Institute of Transport Law, Inland Navigation Law. Prof. Riedel was Swiss Chair of Human Rights and is presently a visiting Professor at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He also is honorary adjunct Professor at the University of Adelaide. He has written widely on human rights.