Applying one of the theories or concepts covered in Ramsey (2008), write a critical reflection on how you have developed and enhanced your research skills during your W822 studies.

Words: 1724
Pages: 7
Subject: Law

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The cut-off date for the end-of-module assessment (EMA) is 19 April 2022. It needs to be submitted electronically via the online TMA/EMA service. The EMA must not be more than 3500 words in length. Words included beyond this limit will not count towards the overall score and may not be read. This word count includes a 500-word reflective question, which must be submitted with the EMA.
The word count for the EMA is 3500 words. The reference list for the EMA is not included within the 3500 word count. Guidance on word count can be found on Law Postgraduate Home.
This EMA has two questions. Question 1 is an essay question with a suggested word count of 3000 words, and Question 2 is a reflective question with a suggested word count of 500 words. You must answer both questions.

Question 1 Suggested word limit: 3000 words

Identify the major contemporary human rights challenges being faced by transnational corporations in relation to their business activities and those of their business partners and suppliers in developing countries. Critically evaluate in what ways, and to what extent, these challenges can be addressed through the use of a ‘know and show’ approach as set out in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
(85 marks)

Question 2 Suggested word limit: 500 words

Applying one of the theories or concepts covered in Ramsey (2008), write a critical reflection on how you have developed and enhanced your research skills during your W822 studies.

Your reflection should include:

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an identification of the key research skills you felt that you developed and enhanced during your W822 studies when working on the three TMAs and the EMA an explanation of how you have developed and improved your ability to analyse and evaluate new concepts and information in an interdisciplinary context a discussion on whether you would make any changes to your research strategy or implementation of it in the future when working on academic assignments or work-based projects.
Word limit: for the reflective narrative 500 words. This will count towards the overall word count for your EMA. Words written over the word limit will not be counted towards your EMA grade.
(15 marks)

Learning outcomes

The EMA will enable you to demonstrate the ability to synthesise your knowledge and understanding of W822 module materials as well as conduct independent research using primary and secondary sources to: identify major contemporary human rights challenges for transnational corporations in relation to their business activities and those of their business partners and suppliers in developing countries critically evaluate a ‘know and show’ approach to fostering rights protection by MNEs within the broader framework of national and international business and human rights measures present a critical discussion of the extent to which contemporary human rights challenges in developing countries can be addressed by transnational corporations and reflect on your personal experience of engaging in independent interdisciplinary learning and conducting independent interdisciplinary research develop evidence-based arguments to support your work.

Advice Question 1 Question 1 draws on the knowledge you have gained during your W822 studies. You are encouraged to take a holistic approach to the question, synthesising your knowledge gained from studying W822 and your engagement in independent interdisciplinary research.

You should demonstrate the application of your critical knowledge through the presentation of evidence-based arguments, in respect of: supporting your identification of major contemporary human rights violations or challenges faced by transnational corporations in relation to their business activities and those of their business partners and suppliers in developing countries

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critically discussing ways to address the major human rights challenges you have identified by evaluating the use of a ‘know and show’ approach in the light of the broader framework of national and international business and human rights measures critically discussing the extent to which transnational corporations can successfully address these challenges.

You may opt to focus on a particular developing country or a particular industry within a developing country context but must provide a rationale for this focus in the introductory section of your answer.
The starting points for researching your answer are Unit 2 ‘Introducing business organisations and corporate social responsibility’; Unit 3 ‘An introduction to human rights’; Unit 6 ‘International labour law and multinational enterprises’ and Unit 13 ‘Monitoring, enforcement and remedies’. Unit 13 draws together themes that have been considered throughout W822 and looks in more depth at monitoring, enforcement and remedies. You may also use material from other units in the module as well as the Module Reader The Business of Human Rights to help provide context of your discussion and analysis.
The module material forms the stepping off point for additional independent research which you are required to undertake for this EMA. Please make use of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights – particularly Principles 16–24 (inclusive). The essence of a ‘know and show’ approach revolves around knowing what the actual and potential human rights impacts of business operations are and showing through reporting and monitoring mechanisms how these have been addressed. You need to decide which of these principles are particularly relevant to address the human rights challenges that you have identified.

Ensure that you draw on relevant examples to illustrate the evidence-based arguments you put forward as part of your critical discussion.

You should think about, and plan, how you will engage in independent interdisciplinary research into contemporary human rights challenges and where there are the greatest risks for transnational corporations in potentially or actually causing adverse human rights impacts to stakeholders.
You want to research the ‘know and show’ approach as a way to address business-related adverse human rights impacts and its strengths and limitations, and use this knowledge to present an evidence-based critical discussion of the use and effectiveness of this particular approach to corporate respect for human rights. You will need to compare this approach with other possible approaches in order to critically evaluate (weigh up) its effectiveness.

You need to critically discuss the extent to which transnational corporations can have a role in tackling human rights challenges. To do this you will need to consider where responsibility lies for this and the role of transnational corporations.

You will need to allocate word count and research time as appropriate to various parts of your EMA. This means deciding on how you will ensure a balanced coverage of the different elements in the question.
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You must support your explanations, analysis, critical evaluation and conclusion with evidence-based arguments. The evidence should be drawn from:

primary sources of law – sources that give you direct access to the subject of your research (this includes raw information and first-hand evidence such as legislation, case law), and/or secondary sources – ideas from other researchers and/or academics. A secondary source evaluates, interprets or synthesises primary sources (e.g. academic legal journal articles, books, statistical data).
You should ensure that any evidence that you use is robust and is appropriate for master level study. The research skills that you have developed while studying this module will allow you to find and select appropriate sources.

The EMA is an extended piece of work. Planning and preparation will be key. In your narrative you must demonstrate analysis and critical thinking. Your work should address the question set.
Your answer to Question 1 should be presented in essay format and written in the third person, as outlined in the preparing and writing assessed work section of the Law Postgraduate Home website. You should also follow the guidance on referencing available on the Law Postgraduate Home website.
Question 2 You should choose one particular theory/concept covered in the ‘Introducing reflective learning’ booklet (Ramsey, 2008) to develop your critical reflection.

You want to think about the research skills that you have developed and used during the course of your W822 studies. For example, these could include developing a search strategy for finding sources; judging the quality of different sources; using legal and other databases or developing evidence-based arguments. You want to pay particular attention to how you developed and improved (or did not develop and improve) your ability to analyse and evaluate new concepts and information in an interdisciplinary context.

You want to reflect on approaches you adopted to develop and enhance these skills and whether modifications or maintenance of your approach to independent interdisciplinary research as your W822 studies progressed impacted positively or negatively on your researching and writing of your assignments (the three TMAs and this final EMA).

End your critical reflection by briefly indicating whether you would make any changes to your approach to analysing and evaluating new concepts and information in an interdisciplinary context for either academic assignments or work-based projects. Provide supporting reasons for making changes or not making any changes.

Your critical reflection may be written in the first person.
For both Question 1 and Question 2

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You should also follow the guidance on referencing available on Law Postgraduate Home website, which explains when to use the OU Harvard system and when to use the OU Law School OSCOLA system.
There is a strict word limit for the overall assignment, which is 3500 words.

Any words in diagrams or tables included in the body of your EMA will be included in the word count. If you include a title page or repeat the question in your TMA answer, this will count towards the overall word count, so please omit this and just indicate whether you are answering Question 1 or Question 2. There is a suggested word limit of 3000 words for Question 1 and a suggested word limit of 500 words for Question 2.

If you write more than 3500 words in total, the additional writing will be excluded from marking. Ensure that you address each element of the EMA. Concentrating too many words on any one element may cost you marks if it means that you omit to research and write on another element. Guidance about word limits can be found on the Law Postgraduate Home website.