International Institutions and Transnational Advocacy: The Case of the North American Agreement on Labour Cooperation

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UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs 13:1 (Spring 2008), p. 129-160.


This article details the effects that recent North American economic integration has had on public interest lawyers. The article argues that the increase in the numbers of "precarious workers" caused by NAFTA has created a large demand for advocacy by public interest lawyers. The first part of the article discusses the NAALC as a new type of transnational legal institution. The second part of the article turns to an examination of the uses made of the NAALC by advocates. The article argues that despite more than a decade of mixed results, it is too soon to dismiss the NAALC, which continues to play a role in fostering a nascent labor transnationalism within North America. The conclusion argues that those who are concerned about the protection of labor rights in the NAFTA countries should consider how this important advocacy work might be better supported, institutionally and politically, in both domestic and tri-national contexts.