Advancing Public Interests in International and European Law

The research strand on Advancing Public Interests in International and European law aims to critically examine how International and European law may further the protection of public interests in a globalising (and privatising) world. Research within this strand engages with questions centred on the potential synergies and trade-offs between different public interests and private interests. The case studies cover both transnational public and private regulation: the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change; the development of corporate social responsibility and the use of private standards to further the public interest; and the operation and legitimacy of the lex sportiva (or transnational sports regulations).

Dr. Antoine Duval


Doing Business Right
The first project within the research strand is ‘Doing Business Right’. Doing Business has been a (if not the) core concern for the post-WWII world order, leading up to contemporary economic globalisation and the ‘free’ movement of goods, capital and ideas across the globe. With this research project, the Asser Institute aims to shift the focus towards Doing Business Right.

Thanks to the financial crisis in 2008, there is growing awareness of the fact that Doing Business can lead to extremely adverse social and economic consequences. The trust in Doing Business as a cure-all to modernise, democratise, or civilise the world is fading. Moreover, the damaging externalities prompted by the operation of transnational economic activity are more and more visible. It has become harder, nowadays, to ignore the environmental and social consequences triggered elsewhere by our consumption patterns or by our reliance on certain energy industries.

Legal perspective
The project ‘Doing Business Right’ focuses on investigating the role of law in securing the public interest in the context of transnational economic activities. In particular, it aims to address the function of law in ensuring that economic globalisation is reflective of it publics. It does so by asking what Doing Business Right means, and investigating how the law responds to the urge to do business right. What are the legal mechanisms used, or that could be used, to ensure that business is done in the right way? Can transnational business activity even be subjected to law in a globalized world?

In the coming years we will continue to carry out several activities, including: 

  • Publish academic contributions and policy briefs
  • Host academic lecture series and conferences
  • Organise policy workshops and roundtables
  • Organise an annual winter academy

Doing Business Right Blog
The Doing Business Right blog offers an academic platform for scholars and practitioners interested in the questions related to Doing Business Right. It hosts in-depth case studies, but also more theoretical takes on the normative underpinnings of the idea of Doing Business Right. Posts cover issues as diverse as national, EU, international and transnational regulations applying to transnational business conduct. Case law from the CJEU or international tribunals, national courts, as well as decisions from international organisations are recurring objects of discussion and analysis. Practices of transnational companies and their effects are also scrutinized.

Go to the Doing Business Right Blog