Debate on Corporate Social Responsibility: Leuven 26 November 2018

On Monday 26 November 2018 from 8 to 10 p.m., a debate on the added value of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will take place in the aula Zeger Van Hee (DV1 91.56). Both prof. dr. Marieke Wyckaert (KU Leuven) and em. prof. dr. Viktor Vanberg (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg and Walter Eucken Institut) will give a short lecture and subsequently comment on each other’s point of view. Prof. dr. Joeri Vananroye will provide an introduction and moderate the debate.

Continue reading “Debate on Corporate Social Responsibility: Leuven 26 November 2018”

Swiss Referendum on Implementing Supply Chain Liability

a post by guest blogger Penelope Bergkamp

Following a clear trend, Switzerland is now also considering proposals to hold  Swiss companies liable for environmental damage and human rights violations in their supply chains. Possibly inspired by the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law, the Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice (SCCJ) launched the Responsible Business Initiative (“RBI”) in 2015. The RBI involves a citizens’ petition to amend the Swiss Federal Constitution to impose “appropriate due diligence” obligations on Swiss companies in  accordance with  their responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles, along with liability for breaches by their subsidiaries. In response to the RBI, the Swiss Senate adopted a somewhat narrower, less ambitious proposal. Pursuant to Article 139 of the Federal Constitution, the Swiss people will be asked to vote on the RBI in a popular referendum

This post discusses the RBI and highlights the key differences between the RBI and the Senate proposal. First, the background to the RBI proposal is briefly reviewed. I will then turn to the procedural and substantive provisions of the RBI. Finally, the international private law aspects of the proposal will be analyzed. Continue reading “Swiss Referendum on Implementing Supply Chain Liability”

The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation: The Uncertain Effects of Supply Chain Due Diligence

On 17 May 2017, a new regulation on supply chain due diligence was published in the European Union’s Official Journal. The regulation, known as the “EU Conflict Minerals Regulation,” imposes obligations on EU importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold (“3TG”) originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. Armed groups engaged in mining operations in these regions are believed to violate human rights and to use the proceeds from the sale of conflict minerals to finance their militia. The regulation is intended to disrupt the financial flows and, thus, stop the human rights abuses. Continue reading “The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation: The Uncertain Effects of Supply Chain Due Diligence”

The Mystery of Corporate Social Responsibility In a Market Economy

A post by guest blogger Penelope Bergkamp

The topic of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is old, but still much debated. For a long time, the dominant view has been that corporations do not have social responsibility, but the tide appears to have changed. Recently, both governments and corporations have explicitly endorsed CSR. But how can corporations pursue the common good in a competitive market economy? Clearly, by providing employment, goods and services, and entering into various transactions, corporations advance welfare, but in what sense other than normal commercial behavior can they be “socially responsible”? Continue reading “The Mystery of Corporate Social Responsibility In a Market Economy”