Corporate Social Responsibility - A Legal Analysis
"The role of the corporation goes beyond providing individual benefits to its shareholders; it also includes a responsibility towards a wider community."
-From the Preface by The Honourable Charles Doherty Gonthier
How Does the Law Treat Corporate Social Responsibility?
Corporations now face greater scrutiny regarding their environmental, social, and economic activities. Accounting firms and consultancies use increasingly sophisticated tools to verify corporate undertakings. Socially responsible investment funds screen corporate performance, and failure to perform even affects share price. By ignoring the legal context or viewing, CSR measures as merely voluntary, a corporation can expose itself to clear financial and legal liability.
Corporate Social Responsibility - A Legal Analysis is the first comprehensive legal text on global CSR. It examines the hard and soft laws that ground CSR to show that responsible corporate behaviour has become a matter of important legal concern for virtually every corporation. This book answers four essential questions:
- What is CSR?
- What is driving it?
- What are the legal dimensions of CSR?
- What are its likely future legal developments?
The authors address these issues with common-law examples from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, as well as European Union law and developments in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Their analysis compares how national laws, international treaties, and voluntary initiatives differently reflect the seven CSR principles they have identified - principles of critical importance to corporations operating in multiple jurisdictions.
Other challenging questions include:
- Is it realistic to expect corporations to pursue CSR initiatives on their own?
- Which is a better means of promoting CSR - voluntary or regulatory?
- Who are stakeholders in a corporation?
- Where do moral-cum-legal obligations come from?
How effectively do current monitoring mechanisms enhance corporate accountability?
Who Should Buy This BookCorporate and in-house counsel seeking to navigate through today's director duties and the expectations of corporate stakeholders
Outside counsel and litigators looking to identify possible corporate liability
Environmental and human rights lawyers and advocates who represent NGOs that monitor CSR
Fund managers assessing the risk of investments within ethical funds and other socially responsible investments
Accounting, consultants and other professionals involved in the assurance of CSR reporting
Legislators, securities commission officials, and other government agency officials with a corporate oversight mandate or an interest in the corporate contribution to economic development
Judges seeking to familiarize themselves with international corporate law trends
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Table of contents
Chapter 1: What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Chapter 2: The Drivers of CSR
Chapter 3: The Conceptual Foundations of Corporate Social Responsibility
Chapter 4: Introducing Seven CSR Legal Principles
Chapter 5: Principle 1 – Integrated, Sustainable Decision-Making
Chapter 6: Principle 2 – Stakeholder Engagement
Chapter 7: Principle 3 – Transparency
Chapter 8: Principle 4 – Consistent Best Practices
Chapter 9: Principle 5 – Precautionary Principle
Chapter 10: Principle 6 – Accountability
Chapter 11: Principle 7 – Community Investment
Chapter 12: CSR's Future Evolution
Chapter 13: Conclusion