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10 - Corporate Obligations in a Global World: The Role of International Mechanisms

from Part III - The Institutional Implications of the Multi-Factoral Approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 October 2021

David Bilchitz
Affiliation:
University of Johannesburg
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Summary

This chapter considers why, in light of globalisation, it is necessary to move beyond the domestic sphere to consider the role of international mechanisms when seeking to achieve the twin goals of enhancing corporate decision-making surrounding fundamental rights and developing the substantive content of corporate obligations. Where existing mechanisms are not silent concerning those obligations, they either tend to read off corporate obligations directly from state obligations or to conflate impacts with violations. Most current structures are ‘soft’ and thus have limited authority to issue guidance. I make proposals for reforms to existing initiatives – including the United Nations Guiding Principles - and for establishing new institutional mechanisms that would be capable of providing relatively authoritative guidance in relation to corporate obligations. The multi-factoral model is proposed as a basis for structuring the reasoning of those mechanisms around and deepening our understanding of those obligations.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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