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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2182025
 
 

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Conflict Minerals Legislation: The SEC's New Role as Diplomatic and Humanitarian Watchdog


Karen E. Woody


Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP; Georgetown University Law Center

2012

Fordham Law Review, Vol. 81, 2012

Abstract:     
Buried in the voluminous Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is an oft-overlooked provision requiring corporate disclosure of the use of “conflict minerals” in products manufactured by issuing corporations. This article scrutinizes the legislative history and lobbying efforts behind the conflict minerals provision to establish that, unlike the majority of the bill, its goals are moral and political, rather than financial. Analyzing the history of disclosure requirements, the article suggests that the presence of conflict minerals in a company’s product is not inherently material information, and that the Dodd-Frank provision statutorily renders non-material information material. The provision, thus, forces the SEC to expand beyond its congressional mandate of protecting investors and ensuring capital formation by requiring issuers engage in additional non-financial disclosures in order to meet the provision’s humanitarian and diplomatic aims. Further, the article posits that the conflict minerals provision is a wholly ineffective means to accomplish its stated humanitarian goals, and likely will cause more harm than good in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In conclusion, this article proposes that a more efficient regulatory model for conflict minerals is the Clean Diamond Trade Act and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: Dodd-Frank, conflict minerals, SEC

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Date posted: November 28, 2012 ; Last revised: April 25, 2014

Suggested Citation

Woody, Karen E., Conflict Minerals Legislation: The SEC's New Role as Diplomatic and Humanitarian Watchdog (2012). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 81, 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2182025 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2182025

Contact Information

Karen E. Woody (Contact Author)
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP ( email )
Washington, DC
HOME PAGE: http://www.cadwalader.com/professionals/karen-woody
Georgetown University Law Center ( email )
Washington, DC
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