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International Documents on Corporate Responsibility

Edited by Stephen Tully

International Documents on Corporate Responsibility includes the principal international, regional and national instruments drafted by intergovernmental organisations or states as well as codes of conduct formulated by industry associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations. The coverage includes the fields of human rights, international criminal and environmental law, labour standards, international trade, armed conflict, sustainable development, corruption, consumer protection and corporate governance. Each document is accompanied by a brief explanatory commentary outlining the historical origins of the instrument, the principal actors involved, controversial negotiation issues, applicable implementation procedure, and identifies further reference material.
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Chapter 3: UN: Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States, 1974


Commentary: UNGA Resolution 3281 (1974) emerged in the context of the assertion by newly independent developing States for an NIEO: see also, UNGA Resolutions 3201 & 3202 (1974). On corporations and the NIEO, see UNCTC, ‘Progress Made Towards the Establishment of the NIEO: the Role of TNCs’, UN Docs E/C.10/74 & E/1980/40. Concomitant with permanent sovereignty over natural resources, governments enjoy the inalienable right to expropriate: Sedco Inc v NIOC (Second Interlocutory Award) (1986) 10 Iran–US CTR 180: 198. Expropriation must result from the bona fide exercise of law in a non-discriminatory manner for a public purpose and upon the payment of compensation: see, for example, Amoco International Finance Corp v Iran (1987) 15 Iran–US CTR 189: paras 140–42. As regards the quantum of compensation, developing States, concerned by capacity to pay, espoused the view that governments were entitled to determine an ‘appropriate’ amount in accordance with national law whereas developed States, concerned by unjust enrichment, argued that customary law required compensation to be prompt, adequate and effective. Article 2(2)(c), which reflects the Calvo doctrine – that foreign investors ought to settle their disputes in the national courts of host States – was accordingly rejected by the developed States. Expropriatory measures will be scrutinised for their substance and effect rather than their form and governmental intent: Tippetts v TAMS-ATTA (1985) 6 Iran-US CTR 219: 225. On the phenomena of ‘creeping’ expropriation, see Starrett Housing Corp v Iran (Interlocutory Award) (1983) 4 Iran–US CTR 122. On environmental regulation amounting...

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