Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Corporate Legal Responsibility

Research Handbook on Corporate Legal Responsibility

Elgar original reference

Edited by Stephen Tully

The ever-important topic of corporate legal responsibility is deconstructed into many multifaceted components in this fascinating Handbook, which systematically examines each in turn and describes the contemporary legal position.

Preface by Stephen Tully

Edited by Stephen Tully

Subjects: law - academic, company and insolvency law, corporate law and governance

Extract

Preface Stephen Tully This preface will not aspire to summarise what follows but merely attempts to locate each chapter within an overall narrative around the issue of corporate legal responsibility, sensitise readers to degrees of corporate responsiveness, point out evolving models of regulation or novel organisational forms and draw attention to distinctive stylistic features. It is evident that prospective liability remains a fundamental business consideration, perhaps second only to competitive pressures arising from the marketplace for the influence exerted over commercial behaviour. Recent years have seen, for example, the passage of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act in the United States following in the wake of the Enron collapse, the Prestige oil tanker disaster off the Spanish coast during 2002 and the Global Compact emanating from the United Nations. Their common thread is the proposition that corporations must bear a responsibility commensurate with their prominent social role, significant operational impacts and substantial economic privileges. That said, the notion of corporate legal responsibility is one of considerable vintage. Indeed, the merchants of antiquity well-appreciated the necessity for contractual enforcement and the orderly conduct of commercial affairs prior to the emergence of the modern nation state. In the contemporary era the question of legal responsibility is being swept aside by renewed interest in so-called ‘corporate social responsibility’. It is currently fashionable to call upon companies to ‘go beyond legal compliance’ in a diverse range of social, economic and environmental fields. The terminology of ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘can’ and ‘will not’ have begun to accrete along...