Understanding Global Frameworks with Private International Law

I know that my work on this blog has referenced international law extensively, but I have included another version of my argument from my final paper here with the hope that any peers reading this will ask me questions that will help challenge my project’s validity. The efficacy of global frameworks relies on their being operational. The operation of all of these frameworks rely on understanding international law within their frameworks. The prohibitive complexity of private international law (PIL) has kept it from becoming involved to any significant degree in the mainstream discourse occurring at most of the more prominent conferences on international law, let alone international development. Diversity and ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals make it literally impossible for a conference to cover every issue. That being said, there are several forums in which PIL could be discussed as a relevant dimension where it has to this point been neglected to the detriment of each of these forums. For example, in the conversation concerning inclusive cities, PIL is fundamental to, but not included in, the topics covered. Individuals working with certain international corporations that have local offices in specific cities need to be able to interact legally with their employers. This is a major issue in cities which act as hubs of international trade and commerce. Often the corporations for which these individuals work are established in one country but open smaller offices all over the world. Occasionally these corporations are created as limited liability corporations of LLCs which add further separations between the employee and employer as legal entities. These barriers make the employee legally mute in many cases from making it legally impossible for him to interact with the real employing company. This can greatly complicate any employment-related cases which the employer wishes to try against the parent company or, theoretically, when the parent corporation looks to try a case against employees or a group of employees. Without an ability to navigate PIL effectively, these urban workers cannot interact legally with their employer, and they cannot have full access to justice.

This obstacle between employers and employees is also relevant to the High-level Political forum. Of their listed goals, Goal 9 codifies a commitment to “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The persistence of the aforementioned problem inhibits any international firm investing in physical infrastructure. It impedes any organization or individual seeking to invest in an industry in another country, and it impedes a worker from the industrializing country engaging legally with an industry that may have its headquarters on the other sides of national borders. The information barrier also acts as a disincentive to individuals or corporations which seek innovation through international cooperation. It is ironic that this forum based on international cooperation is another forum that fails to address a substantial impediment to international cooperation.