Faculty of Law

South African Professor Paul Smith Spoke to Students on ‘The Future of Labour Law under Globalization and Regionalization’

On October 28, 2015, Dr. Paul Smith, professor in labour relations management at the University of Pretoria (South Africa), spoke to undergraduate and master’s students on ‘The Future of Labour Law under Globalization and Regionalization’.

The lecture provoked a lot of interest among the students, and after it had finished, they continued the discussion.

Summary of the talk

Globalization and growing cross-border capital and labour movement, which exclude migrant workers facing obstacles due to migration law, all add to the situation when labour laws are becoming international. Internationally, the problem of workforce movement is inversely dependent on capital and labour in terms of freedom of movement. Due to growing globalization and regional economic agreements or regional integration plans, the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) have become widely known over recent years.

The aim of this research is to analyze the theoretical foundations of international labour law and to find out what motivates or forces countries to sign up, or not to sign up, to international labour law. The author studied globalization and regionalization (decentralization) and the influence of these on international labour law processes.

Regional international associations are often a result of political struggles and negotiations on the content and aims of social policy, which reflects the traditions, interests and needs of the participant countries. Most regional associations express concern about narrow business goals in the context of global social needs in development. Regional associations are an important part of state strategies and should be analyzed as one of the methods of changing collective action on an international level. These associations are specifically focused on economic issues, and this has caused international civil society organizations to demand solutions to social issues as well. Nevertheless, the requirements of the civil society have been formulated by means of additional summits and forms. This has built a foundation for an inclusive, democratic, and developing social policy on a regional level, which can include international labour law and regional labour standards. This directly influences trade unions, employer associations, and labour lawyers.