Debates, Models and Practices Across Government, Law and Business
Chapter 5: Charting the Regulation of Corporate Social Responsibility and its Reform
OVERVIEW Any attempt at official CSR reform at governmental and intergovernmental levels must increasingly be grounded in an international and comparative assessment of CSR’s legal and regulatory landscape. This is particularly important in light of the significant potential, sometime in the 21st century, for the development of an international system of CSR law and regulation, complemented and shaped by an emerging body of comparative CSR-related law and regulation across major jurisdictions, as outlined here. Consistently with the growth of modelling regulatory schemes and strategies from one domain to another in business regulation worldwide,1 across jurisdictions there is ‘a certain amount of cross-fertilisation of regulatory ideas and tactics, as different home states watch and learn from each other’.2 These legal and regulatory aspects of the governmental mapping of CSR are the focus of this chapter. MAPPING INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW AND REGULATION OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY International CSR-related Law and Regulation Much of international law is simply social responsibility and neighbourhood writ large [and] we ought to accept that the corporation always has the social responsibility of a citizen and often has that of a government. – Corporate law professor, Suzanne Corcoran3 International law has much potential to regulate corporate responsibility, although it presently has limited application to TNCs directly, in the absence of a comprehensive international law of corporate responsibility and governance. International law speaks more to the obligations of nation-states than to those of non-state actors, although that balance is shifting. The orthodox framework of international law envisages direct...
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