Globalization & Law Network seminar with Caroline Omari Lichuma

On 13 December 2023, the Globalization & Law Network hosted a talk by Dr Caroline Omari Lichuma, Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg. Caroline presented her recent paper titled ‘Extraterritorializing Control Through the Regulation of Global Value Chains: Ensuring the Resilience of the Internal Market at the Expense of the Global South?’. The talk was extremely timely: while the Council and the European Parliament have recently reached a provisional deal on the corporate sustainability due diligence directive, many concerns regarding the future legal regime persist.

In her talk, Caroline has put forward a fascinating critique of the EU’s ongoing efforts to extraterritorialize the EU’s regulatory power through the regulation of global value chains (GVCs). She started by providing an overview of the EU’s recently adopted or proposed legal acts aimed at strengthening human rights and environmental protection in GVCs. Then, Caroline delved into the analysis of these acts from a TWAIL perspective. Building on her prior work in this area, she demonstrated how the measures envisioned by the EU can produce unintended consequences, such as the legitimation of ‘extractivism’ and the deterioration of working conditions for Global South workers.

Following Caroline’s talk, Prof. Anna Beckers, who acted as a discussant, offered thoughtful comments on Caroline’s paper. The ensuing discussion with the audience revolved around the interplay between various EU legal instruments seeking to secure critical supplies, the colonial roots of global companies’ economic power, and the legal mechanisms for protecting the victims from the Global South.

The Globalization & Law Network seminar series will be resumed in 2024. We kindly invite everyone interested in the interplay between law, governance, and globalization to check out the program and register for the upcoming seminars.

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