Due diligence in respect of human rights risks is becoming particularly important for multinational corporations. The basis for human rights due diligence may arise from local laws, international law or custom, or the requirements of lenders and investors. Due diligence allows multinational companies to promote compliance with societal expectations and take precautions to avoid liability for human rights violations.
The purpose of this article is to review the elements of human rights due diligence for multinational corporations and discuss their legal implications.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Ogilvy Renault's Quarterly Newsletter on Mining and Resource Law can be found here, with excellent articles (if I do say so, being one of the contributors!) on Bill C-300 and new disclosure obligations on Environmental Social and Governance indicators.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
The Google/China issue is a fascinating topic for legal counsel because it brings into stark terms the true challenge of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for business law. At its essence, the question being debated by both sides of this issue is the proper role of "authority" as a guide for corporate conduct. This is the focus of my graduate thesis, and I believe it is a central issue in understanding how corporations should navigate social expectations, be they legal, ethical, or CSR related - or as is most often the case, a tangled amalgam of each.
In a recent article of the Financial Times (full article here), it was noted that a pension scheme of a major food manufacturer was found to have a provision that prevents alteration of the pension plan insofar as such a change would be "unfair or materially detrimental" to the plan's beneficiaries. The article hypothesizes that the "unusual clause" could be linked to the company's "Quaker heritage" and "its doctrine of giving a fair deal to staff and suppliers". This raises some interesting legal issues, and reveals the potential for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) motivations to affect legal relations far into the future.