An Interdisciplinary and Comparative Examination
Corporations, Globalisation and the Law series
Chapter 6: Comparative Laws and Principles Regarding Corporate Group Liability
Introduction One of the most important problems for regulation of groups of companies and MNEs is that only a few legal systems propose a unified approach towards groups of companies1 and none of them regulate liability issues in tort. Therefore national courts, with the lack of statutory provisions to trust in, use general legal principles of civil and commercial laws to obtain justice in a particular case. More importantly in contrast to expectations, there are new laws to extend limited liability to other business forms.2 For example, the UK recently enacted the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2000, which has extended the imperfections of limited liability to partnerships. On the international level, the more difficult question remains, how MNEs can be put under harmonized regulations: whether MNEs might be subject to one uniform regulatory structure or different regulations covering their various activities in different countries. The voluntary regulation of MNEs also appears as a part of the liability discussions.3 It may be argued, in the light of previous chapters, that an MNE should be subject to a single regulatory scheme because it has a private managerial structure capable of integrated global management over all its components. On the other hand, this type of uniform regulation, even if it could be achieved, would be problematic with regard to the sovereignty of independent states.4 However the fact that corporate groups have not been regulated in a way that is equivalent to that of other organizational forms, such as joint stock companies, should not...
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