Law-guided CS: Ten Commandments for the 21st Century

Article


Radavoi, Ciprian, Spencer, Elizabeth Crawford and Lee, Karen. 2022. "Law-guided CS: Ten Commandments for the 21st Century." Journal of Regulatory Compliance. 9, pp. 36-63.
Article Title

Law-guided CS: Ten Commandments for the 21st Century

Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsRadavoi, Ciprian, Spencer, Elizabeth Crawford and Lee, Karen
Journal TitleJournal of Regulatory Compliance
Journal Citation9, pp. 36-63
Number of Pages28
Year2022
PublisherLoyola University Chicago
Place of PublicationUnited States
Web Address (URL)https://www.compliancelawjournal.com/compliancelawjournal/issue_ix/MobilePagedArticle.action?articleId=1890944#articleId1890944
Abstract

The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility has traditionally been viewed as voluntary actions undertaken by corporations. The European Union, for example, famously defined CSR as “a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis”. A review of the debate on CSR and regulation undertaken at the turn of the millennium found that when governments felt like intervening in the CSR project, their actions were undertaken explicitly as “pro-CSR initiatives,” rather than (legal) CSR. However, soon afterwards, growing social inequalities exacerbated by corporate social and environmental wrongdoing led to an increasing interest in legal CSR: CSR as mandated by law, as opposed to selfregulation and voluntary codes of conduct merely supported by government action. Accordingly, numerous academic works have endeavoured to elucidate what role the law can play in the CSR project.
If legal CSR is considered a significant part of the solution in plugging the gaps in the current voluntary CSR regime and a key to ensuring the CSR commitments made by corporations in their codes of conduct are sincere, questions remain as to whether and how legally imposed CSR can transform corporate practices. Despite certain recent conceptual discussions on advancing knowledge on how legal CSR works, the underlying legal principles that shape legal CSR remain under-researched. Beyond the wide variety of possible governmental actions and the complex relationship between policy choice and culture and geography, there must be some common principles guiding state action. This article builds on the academic literature and on regulatory developments in various jurisdictions to identify the principles of legal CSR.

KeywordsCorporate social responsibility
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020500102. Business ethics
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