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The Use of Transnational Labour Law in Steering Socially Responsible Corporate Governance towards Increased Worker Protection

  • Isabelle Martin (a1)


Socially responsible corporate governance (SRCG) is a product of the interaction of corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. These two transnational business governance schemes have converged around the principles of accountability, sustainability, and due diligence. This article will examine to what extent SRCG can be useful in promoting worker protection. It will contend that, as a reflexive regulation, SRCG is normatively indeterminate and may easily be subject to regulatory capture by the traditional actors of corporate governance. This article will argue that these risks may be alleviated by the interaction of SRCG with transnational labour law (TLL). Transnational labour law increases SRCG’s responsiveness to the value of worker protection by offering labour more direct sources of participation to strengthen SRCG’s enforcement and alleviate risks of capture. Moreover, the principles of TLL weave a coherent and meaningful framework which can be used to assess the quality of the various corporate governance initiatives.

La gouvernance socialement responsable (GSR) est au carrefour de l’interaction entre la gouvernance et la responsabilité sociale des entreprises. Ces deux systèmes de gouvernance convergent autour des principes de responsabilité, de durabilité et de diligence raisonnable. Cet article examine dans quelle mesure la GSR peut s’avérer utile en tant que mécanisme de protection des travailleurs. L’une des thèses de cet article est qu’en tant qu’outil prescriptif, la GSR est caractérisée par une certaine ambiguïté qui la rend susceptible d’être influencée par les intérêts corporatifs traditionnels. Toutefois, ce risque d’influence peut être modéré par la confluence entre la GSR et le droit transnational du travail (DTT). Le DTT augmenterait la réceptivité de la GSR à l’égard de la protection des travailleurs, et ce, en offrant aux travailleurs une certaine capacité pour renforcer l’application de la GSR et réduire les risques d’influence de la part des intérêts corporatifs. Enfin, les principes du DTT instituent un cadre cohérent et significatif qui peut être utilisé pour évaluer la qualité des différentes initiatives en matière de gouvernance d’entreprise.

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Earlier version of this paper were presented at the 2015 Labour Law Research Network conference in Amsterdam as well as at the Transnational Business Governance Interaction seminar in May 2016 held in York University (Toronto). I would like to thank Adelle Blackett, the anonymous reviewers, and the CJLS editors for their insightful comments. I would also like to thank Emmanuel Cigana for his proofreading assistance. Any remaining errors are my own.



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1 Gill, Amiram, “Corporate Governance as Social Responsibility: A Research Agenda,” Berkeley Journal of International Law 26 (2008): 452.

2 Morin, Marie-Laure, “Le droit du travail face aux nouvelles formes d’organisation des entreprises,” Revue internationale du travail, 144: 1 (2005): 5.

3 Parker, Christine, “The Pluralization of Regulation,” Theoretical Inquiries in Law 9 (2008): 348.

4 Braithwaite, John and Drahos, Peter, Global Business Regulation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 9.

5 Ibid., 529.

6 Ibid., 571.

7 Eberlein, Burkard, Abbott, Kenneth W., Black, Julia, Meidinger, Errol, and Wood, Stepan, “Transnational Business Governance Interaction: Conceptualization and Framework for Analysis,” Regulation and Governance 8 (2014): 1.

8 Bruner, Christopher M., Corporate Governance in the Common-Law World : The Political Foundations of Shareholder Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 28.

9 Gill, “Corporate Governance,” 463–70.

10 Jensen, Michael C. and Meckling, William H., “Theory of the Firm: Managerial Behavior, Agency Costs and Ownership Structure,” Journal of Financial Economics 3 (1976): 305.

11 Hansmann, Henry and Kraakman, Reinier, “The End of History for Corporate Law,” Georgetown Law Journal 89 (2001): 439.

12 Clarkson, Max B. E., “A Stakeholder Framework for Analysing and Evaluating Corporate Social Performance,” Academy of Management Review 20 (1995): 92.

13 Donaldson, Thomas and Preston, Lee E., “The Stakeholder Theory of the Corporation: Concepts, Evidence and Implications,” Academy of Management Review 20 (1995): 65.

14 McBarnet, Doreen, “Corporate Social Responsibility Beyond Law, Through Law, For Law: the New Corporate Accountability,” in The New Corporate Accountability: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Law, ed. Voiculescu, Aurora, McBarnet, Doreen, and Campbell, Tom (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2007), 9.

15 On the move from corporate governance to stakeholderism see Sacconi, Lorenzo, “Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance,” Journal of Business Ethics 68 (2006): 259.

16 Kerr, Michael, Janda, Richard, and Pitts, Chip, Corporate Social Responsibility: A Legal Analysis (Markham (Ont): LexisNexis, 2009).

17 Ibid., 105.

18 Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the Issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises, John Ruggie, Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ Framework, Off Doc GA UN, 17e sess. (2011) (Guiding Principles).

19 On how principles have a symbolic value that brings together actors and serves as “as anchor-point for regulatory change,” see Braithwaite and Drahos, Global, 528, 571.

20 Trebilcock, Anne, “Due Diligence on Labour Issues—Opportunities and Limits of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” in Research Handbook on Transnational Labour Law, ed. Blackett, Adelle and Trebilcock, Anne (Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2015), 93, 99.

21 On such a use of principles see Braithwaite and Drahos, Global, 528.

22 “Sustainability” may be used in the sense that strong corporate performance results in “sustained profitability and, therefore, enhances shareholder value”: Bombardier, Statement of Corporate Governance Practices, accessed August 17, 2017:

23 Melish, Tara J. and Meidinger, Errol, “Protect, Respect, Remedy and Participate: ‘New Governance’ Lessons for the Ruggie Framework,” in The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Foundations and Implementation, ed. Mares, Radu (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 303, 308, 312.

24 Accountability may be used in the narrow sense of “accountability to shareholders”: Solomon, Jill, Corporate Governance and Accountability, 2nd ed. (Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons, 2007), 14. See for instance: Grunman, Northrop, 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report: 16, accessed August 17, 2017,

25 See for instance, the PRI Brochure 2016: Principles for Responsible Investment, Principles for Responsible Investment: An investor initiative in partnership with UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact: 4: “we believe that environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios,” accessed August 8, 2017: (Principles for Responsible Investment).

26 Melish and Meidinger, 308

27 Parker, “Pluralization,” 358–59; Teubner, Gunther, “Company Interest: The Public Interest of the Enterprise ‘in Itself’,” in Reflexive Labour Law, ed. Rogowski, Ralf and Wilthagen, Ton (Deventer, NL: Kluwer, 1994), 21, 4445.

28 Martin, Isabelle, “Tying it All Together: The Potential of Legal, Social and Market-Based Control Mechanisms to Enforce Integrated and Sustainable Decision-Making,” Revue générale de droit 44 (2014): 353, 359–62.

29 Martin, Isabelle, “Corporate Governance Structures and Practices: From Ordeal to Opportunities and Challenges for Transnational Labour Law,” in Research Handbook, ed. Blackett, and Trebilcock, , 51, 58.

30 Peoples Department Stores Inc (Trustee of) v Wise, 2004 CSC 68, para 42; in the United States, see: In re Caremark Derivative Litig., 698 A.2d 959 (Del. Ch. 1996).

31 For instance, in the United Kingdom: Companies Act, c. 46 at §§ 8, 112, 172 (2006). In the United States a number of states have adopted constituency statutes: for an overview, see Bradley, Michael, Schipani, Cindy A., Sundaram, Anant K. and Walsh, James P. “The Purposes and Accountability of the Corporation in Contemporary Society: Corporate Governance at a Crossroads,” Law & Contemporary Problems 62 (1999): 9.

32 BCE Inc v 1976 Debentureholders, 2008 CSC 69, para 40 (BCE).

33 Teubner, “Company Interests,” 44–45; Kerr, Janda, and Pitts, 79.

34 Rousseau, Stéphane, “Devoirs des administrateurs” in JurisClasseur Québec : Droit des sociétés (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2011), 713; Williams, Cynthia A. and Conley, John M., “Is There an Emerging Fiduciary Duty to Consider Human Rights?,” University Cincinnati Law Review 74 (2005): 75, 8788.

35 Kerr, Janda, and Pitts, Corporate, 331.

36 See for instance : ISO 26000 §§ 6.3-6.4, SA 8000 Standard.

37 Muchlinski, Peter, “Implementing the New UN Corporate Human Rights Framework: Implications for Corporate Law, Governance and Regulation,” Business Ethics 22 (2012): 145, 152; Williams and Conley, 87–91.

38 Especially the possibility for shareholders to submit a proposal at the annual shareholders’ meeting, to vote on these proposals and to elect directors.

39 Williams and Conley, 89–99; O’Rourke, Anastasia, “A New Politics of Engagement: Shareholder Activism for Corporate Social Responsibility,” Business Strategy and the Environment 12 (2003): 227, 228; Wagemans, Frank A. J., Koppen, Kris van, and Mol, Arthur P. J., “The Effectiveness of Socially Responsible Investment: a Review,” Journal of Integrative Environmental Issues 10 (2003): 235, 240.

40 Richardson, Benjamin J., “To Govern and Be Governed: The Governance Dimension of SRI’s Influence,” in Socially Responsible Investment in the 21st Century: Does it Make a Difference for Society? ed. Louche, Céline and Hebb, Tessa (Bingley, UK: Emerald, 2014), 247–72, 251. See, for instance, Ontario Securities Commission, National Instrument 81-106, Investment Fund Continuous Disclosure, part 10 (Accessed on August 9 2017)

41 Parker, “Pluralization,” 358.

42 Teubner, Gunther, “Substantive and Reflexive Elements in Modern Law,” Law & Society Review 17 (1983): 239, 254.

43 On process-oriented regulation, see Parker, Christine, “Meta-Regulation: Legal Accountability for Corporate Social Responsibility,” in The New Corporate Accountability, ed. McBarnet, Doreen, Voiculescu, Aurora, and Campbell, Tom, 207, 215–16, 233.

44 McBarnet, Doreen, “Human Rights, Corporate Responsibility and the New Accountability,” in Human Rights and the Moral Responsibilities of Corporate and Public Sector Organisations, ed. Campbell, Tom and Miller, Seumas, (Dodrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004), 63, 77.

45 Villiers, Charlotte, “Corporate Social Responsibility and Participatory Labour Laws,” in The Role of Labour Standards in Development: From Theory to Sustainable Practice? ed. Novitz, Tonia and Mangan, David, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 171, 178.

46 For instance, in BCE, the Supreme Court refused to intervene in a decision which clearly favoured shareholders and had negative repercussions on debentureholders.

47 Anabtawi, Iman, “Some Skepticism About Increasing Shareholder Power,” UCLA Law Review 53 (2005): 561, 579.

48 Stout, Lynn A., The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public (San Francisco: Berret-Koehler Pub., 2012), 69.

49 Institutional Shareholder Services, Canada Proxy Voting Guidelines for TSX-Listed Companies, Benchmark Policy Recommendations, January 4 2018,, at 47. The Institutional Shareholder Services manages 61% of the market for proxy advisory services: Robyn Bew and Richard Fields, “Voting Decisions at US Mutual Funds: How Investors Really Use Proxy Advisers,” Tapestry Networks/IRCC, June 2012, p. 6

50 Waitzer, Ed and Jaswal, Johnny, “Peoples, BCE, and the Good Corporate ‘Citizen,’” Osgoode Hall Law Journal 47 (2009): 439–96; Sacconi, 302–03.

51 Mainly through the business judgment rule: Rock, Edward B. and Wachter, Michael L., “Islands of Conscious Power: Law, Norms, and the Self-Governing Corporations” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 149 (2001): 1619.

52 Waitzer and Jaswal, para 93.

53 BCE, para 40.

54 In theory, stakeholders could have access to the judicial procedures of derivative action (S. 238 Canada Business Corporations Act, RSC 1985, c C-44 (CBCA) and the oppression remedy (S. 241(1) CBCA): Rotman, Leonard I., “Debunking the ‘End of History’ Thesis for Corporate Law,” Boston College International & Comparative Law Review 33 (2010): 219. However, in practice, only shareholders, debentureholders, and creditors are granted access by the courts: Ben-Ishai, Stephanie and Puri, Poonam, “The Canadian Oppression Remedy Judicially Considered: 1995–2001,” Queen’s Law Journal 30 (2004): 79.

55 Such as ss. 103(2), 106(3), 162 and Part XV CBCA.

56 S 241 CBCA.

57 S 239 CBCA.

58 National Policy 62-202 Take-over Bids—Defensive Tactics. The BCE attempted buy-out stands as a good example of the impact of such policies. Indeed, the Superior Court noted that the process put in place during BCE rearrangement “was based on the premise that once BCE was in play, the overriding duty of the Board was to maximize the value for its shareholders” (BCE inc. (Arrangement relatif à) 2008 QCCA 935 (CanLII): para 98, rev’d BCE).

59 Richardson, “To Govern,” 253–54; Curtiss, Frank, Levine, Ida, and Browning, James, “The Institutional Investor’s Role in ‘Responsible Ownership,’” in The Future of Financial Regulation, ed. MacNeil, Iain G., and O’Brien, Justin (Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2010), 303.

60 Curtiss, Levine, and Browning, 305.

61 Richardson, “To Govern,” 253.

62 Such as Bâtirente in Québec. Unions’ pension funds must be distinguished from public pension funds such as CalPERS and from workers’ pension funds that are not managed by their union, such as Teachers.

63 Agrawal, Ashwini K., “Corporate Governance Objectives of Labor Union Shareholders: Evidence from Proxy Voting,” The Review of Financial Studies 25, no. 1 (2012): 188.

64 Anabtawi, Iman and Stout, Lynn, “Fiduciary Duties for Activist Shareholders,” Harvard Law Review 60 (2007): 1255, 1286.

65 Agrawal.

66 Schwab, Stewart J. and Thomas, Randall S., “Realigning Corporate Governance: Shareholder Activism by Labor Unions,” Michigan Law Review 96 (1998): 1018; Prevost, Andrew K., Rao, Ramesh P., and Williams, Melissa A., “Labor Unions as Shareholder Activists: Champions or Detractors?” Financial Review 47 (2012): 327.

67 Agrawal.

68 Schwab and Thomas.

69 Richardson, Benjamin J., “Fiduciary and Other Legal Duties,” in Socially Responsible Finance and Investing: Financial Institutions, Corporations, Investors, and Activists, ed. Kent Baker, H. and Nofsinger, John R. (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2012), 69, 74.

70 Ibid., 82.

71 Schwab and Thomas, 1082, 1090. For a recent update on labour union shareholders’ practices see Agrawal.

72 A proposal may not be submitted again if at a previous annual meeting of shareholders it did not receive between 3 per cent and 10 per cent of the total number of shares voted: S. 137, (5) d) CBCA and s. 51 of Canada Business Corporations Regulations, SOR/2001-512. See Dhir, Aaron A., “Shareholder Engagement in the Embedded Business Corporation: Investment Activism, Human Rights, and TWAIL Discourse,” Business Ethics Quarterly 22 (2012): 99, 107.

73 Co-optation is the “process of absorbing new elements into the leadership or policy structure of an organization as a means of averting threats to its stability or existence”: Selznick, Philip, TVA and the Grass Roots (New York: Harper, 1949), 13.

74 Laffont, Jean-Jacques and Tirole, Jean, “The Politics of Government Decision-Making: A Theory of Regulatory Capture,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 106 (1991): 1089.

75 Mattli, Walter and Woods, Ngaire, “In Whose Benefit? Explaining Regulatory Change in Global Politics,” in The Politics of Global Regulation, ed. Mattli, Walter and Woods, Ngaire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 1, 12.

76 See literature review in Jacobsen, Ben, “Increasing the Effectiveness of SRI Corporate Engagement on Climate Change through a Responsive Regulation Framework,” in Socially Responsible Investment in the 21st Century: Does It Make a Difference for Society?, ed. Louche, Céline and Hebb, Tessa (Bingley, UK: Emerald, 2014): 149, 156.

77 Conley, John M. and Williams, Cynthia A., “Engage, Embed, and Embellish: Theory Versus Practice in the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement,” The Journal of Corporation. Law 31 (2005): 1, 37

78 SustainAbility, Gearing Up: From Corporate Responsibility to Good Governance and Scalable Solutions September 1, 2004, accessed August 10 2017,

79 Conley and Williams, “Engage,” 36.

80 In Canada see: Lian v Crew Group Inc, 2001 Canlii 28063 (ON SC); In the United States, Doe v Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 572 F. 3d 677 (9th Cir 2009).

81 Blackett, Adelle, “Global Governance, Legal Pluralism and the Decentered State: A Labor Law Critique of Codes of Corporate Conduct,” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 8 (2001): 401, 422.

82 Ballinger, Jeff, “The Threat Posed by ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ to Trade Union Rights,” in Fair Trade, Corporate Accountability and Beyond, ed. Macdonald, Kate and Marshall, Shelley (London: Routledge, 2010), 223, 236.

83 Richardson, Benjamin J., Socially Responsible Investment Law: Regulating the Unseen Polluters (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), 8788.

84 O’Rourke, “A New Politics.”

85 Glass Lewis & Co, Proxy Paper Guidelines: 2014 Proxy Season, 2014 29-30.

86 O’Connor, Marleen, “Restructuring the Corporation’s Nexus of Contracts: Recognizing a Fiduciary Duty to Protect Displaced Workers,” North Carolina Law Review 69 (1991): 1189, 1210 ff.

87 Baker, Max, “Re-conceiving Managerial Capture,” Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 23 (2010): 847, 848.

88 Briggs, Thomas W., “Corporate Governance and the New Hedge Fund Activism: An Empirical Analysis,” The Journal of Corporation. Law 32 (2007): 681; Stout, Lynn A., “The Toxic Side Effects of Shareholder Primacy,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 161 (2012): 2003, 2009. Furthermore, in Canada, activist investors gain additional leverage from the s 150 (1.1) CBCA which allows proxies solicitation without publicly circulating a dissident proxy circular as long as no more than 15 shareholders are solicited. On s 150 (1.1) CBCA, see Sarra, Janis, “Shareholders as Winners and Losers under the Amended Canada Business Corporations Act,” Canadian Business Law. Journal 39 (2003): 52, 80.

89 Brown, Judy and Fraser, Michael, “Approaches and perspectives in social and environmental accounting: An Overview of the Conceptual Landscape,” Business Strategy & the Environment 15 (2006): 103, 110.

90 From the title of the fascinating debate between progressive corporate law scholar Kent Greenfield and his more traditional counterpart, Gordon Smith: Greenfield, Kent and Gordon Smith, D.. “Debate: Saving the World with Corporate Law?” Emory Law Journal 57 (2007): 947–84.

91 Parker, “Pluralization.”

92 Parker, “Meta-Regulation,” 231.

93 Hepple, Bob, Labour Laws and Trade Global (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2005), 4; Trubek, David M., Mosher, Jim, and Rothstein, Jeffrey S., “Transnationalism in the Regulation of Labor Relations: International Regimes and Transnational Advocacy Networks,” Law and Social Inquiry 2000:1194.

94 Nonet, Philippe and Selznick, Philip, Law and Society in Transition: Toward Responsive Law (New York: Harper and Row, 1978), 78, 95.

95 Ibid., 79.

96 The 1998 Declaration identifies four principles enshrined by eight ILO fundamental Conventions: Freedom of association (C 87, 98); elimination of forced labour (C29, 105); abolition of child labour (C 138, 182); and elimination of discrimination (C 100, 111).

98 See for instance: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Environmental and Social Policy, May 2014, accessed August 16, 2017:; African Development Bank Group, African Development Bank’s Integrated Safeguards System—Policy Statement and Operational Safeguards, 1 (December 2013), 49, accessed August 16, 2017:

99 Compa, Lance, “From Chile to Vietnam: International Labour Law and Workers’ Rights in International Trade,” in Critical Legal Perspective on Global Governance, ed. de Bùrca, Gràinne, Kilpatrick, Claire, and Scott, Joanne, (Oxford: Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2014), 143 at 154; Islam, Muhammad Azizul and Mcphail, Ken, “Regulating for Corporate Human Rights Abuses: The Emergence of Corporate Reporting on the ILO’s Human Rights Standards within the Global Garment Manufacturing and Retail Industry” Critical Perspectives on Accounting 22 (2011): 790, 799.

100 Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs des Couche-Tard de Montréal et Laval — CSN et Couche-Tard inc., 2011 QCCRT 0449.

101 RRCSN, “Proposition No. 6,” in Circulaire de sollicitation de procurations de la direction, Alimentation Couche-Tard, 2011, ann. C: 8, accessed August 17, 2017,

102 Dubuc, André, “Couche-Tard : l’entente surprend deux spécialistes,” October 30 2013, La Presse Affaires, online :

103 Araya, Fshazion and Tekle v Nevsun Resources Ltd., Notice of Civil Claim, Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver registry, Nov. 24 2014, S-148932: allegations 34 and 33.

104 International Finance Corporation, “Performance Standards.”

105 Ibid., 7.

106 On this definitional role of ILO standards see Zandvliet, Ruben and Heijden, Paul van der, “The Rapprochement of ILO Standards and CSR Mechanisms: Towards a Positive Understanding of ‘Privatization,’” in Global Governance of Labour Rights, ed. Marx, Alex, Wouters, Jan, Rayp, Glenn and Beke, Laura (Cheltenham: Edward Eldgar, 2015), 170, 183.

107 See generally Ayres, Ian and Braithwaite, John, Responsive Regulation: Transcending the Deregulation Debate (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 57; see specifically Melish and Meidinger, 322.

108 On the adoption level of CSR policies see Klink, Dennis, “Compliance Opportunities and the Effectiveness of Private Voluntary Standard Setting—Lessons from the Global Banana Industry,” in Global Governance (cf note 106), 230, 237.

109 See generally Ayres and Braithwaite, 56. See specifically Fenwick, Colin, Howe, John, Marshall, Shelley, Landau, Ingrid, Labour and Labour-Related Laws in Micro and Small Enterprises: Innovative Regulatory Approaches, SEED Working Paper (ILO, 2007), 9497.

110 On the importance of participation, see Melish and Meidinger, 316–17. On the numerous obstacles faced by unions when seeking to enforce regulation transnationally, see Sukthankar, Ashwini, “Global Organizing and Domestic Constraints,” in Research Handbook, ed. Blackett, and Trebilcock, , 37.

111 Blackett, Adelle and Trebilcock, Anne, “Conceptualizing Transnational Labour Law,” in Research Handbook, ed. Blackett, and Trebilcock, , 3, 8.

112 Davidov, Guy, “Collective Bargaining Laws: Purpose and Scope,” International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations 20 (2004): 81.

113 On how the ILO may help build institutional capacity and guide multi-stakeholder dialogue, see Diller, Janelle M., “Pluralism and Privatization in Transnational Labour Regulation: Experience of the International Labour Organization,” in Research Handbook, ed. Blackett, and Trebilcock, , 329, 334.

114 Estlund, Cynthia, “A Return to Governance in the Law of the Workplace,” in The Oxford Handbook of Governance, ed. Levi-Faur, David (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 540, 547.

115 Fenwick et al., 106.

116 Dukes, Ruth, “Hugo Sinzheimer and the Constitutional Function of Labour Law,” in The Idea of Labour Law, ed. Davidov, Guy and Langille, Brian (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), 57; Martin, Isabelle, “Corporate Social Responsibility as Work Law? A Critical Assessment in the Light of the Principle of Human Dignity,” Canadian Journal of Employment and Labour Law 19 (2015): 255.

117 Langille, Brian, “Labour Law’s Theory of Justice,” in The Idea of Labour Law, ed. Davidov, and Langille, , 101.

118 Sergio Gamonal, C. and Rosado Marzan, Cesar F., “Protecting Workers as a Matter of Principle: A South American View of U.S. Work Law,” Washington University Global Studies Law Review 13 (2014): 605.

119 On how weaker parties such as labour can only oppose principles with other principles, see: Braithwaite and Drahos, 507, 527, and 530.

120 Blackett and Trebilcock, “Conceptualizing,” 4.

121 See generally: Braithwaite and Drahos, 529. On how the 1998 Declaration has achieved the status of “incontestable social facts,” see Islam and McPhail, 796.

122 On how international conventions may provide such a consensus, see: Richardson, “Fiduciary,” 77.

123 Webb, Kernaghan, “ISO 26000 Social Responsibility Standard as ‘Proto Law’ and a New Form of Global Custom: Positioning ISO 26000 in the Emerging Transnational Regulatory Governance Rule Instrument Architecture,” Transnational Legal Theory 6, no. 2 (2015): 466, 477–78.

124 Ibid., 478.

125 Ibid.

126 Araya; Anvil Mining Ltd. v Association canadienne contre l’impunité, 2012 QCCA 117; Choc v Hudbay Minerals Inc., 2013 ONSC 1414; Garcia v Tahoe Resources Inc., 2015 BCSC 2045.

* Earlier version of this paper were presented at the 2015 Labour Law Research Network conference in Amsterdam as well as at the Transnational Business Governance Interaction seminar in May 2016 held in York University (Toronto). I would like to thank Adelle Blackett, the anonymous reviewers, and the CJLS editors for their insightful comments. I would also like to thank Emmanuel Cigana for his proofreading assistance. Any remaining errors are my own.



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