Abstract: At the beginning of the 21st century, several authors wondered how the increasingly easy access to information on foreign law, especially online, would change comparative law. This contribution evaluates the role of online legal information and online tools in the emerging fi eld of business and human rights. It shows, on the one hand, a relatively hidden impact of online tools when looking at international organisations and state law. There online tools have changed the way experts on foreign law gather information on foreign law. On the other hand, online tools greatly help civil society organisations and networks, and that might be one factor explaining their role in developing the area of business and human rights. The easier availability of online legal information therefore increases the use of foreign law for purposes of law reform and legal change, especially in the context of increasing internationalisation. This has several implications for comparative lawyers: in order to remain relevant, we need to be open, conscious and transparent about the role of power and politics in comparative law, and engage with international law. At the same time, it is essential to continue the focus and struggle of comparative law, integrating culture and context in a conscious reasoned process of comparison.
Keywords: internet; online legal information; business and human rights; comparative method; civil society; corporate social responsibility
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