Mapping the Public – Private Law Divide: A Hybrid Approach to Corporate Accountability

35 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2015 Last revised: 16 Sep 2016

See all articles by Ciara Hackett

Ciara Hackett

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law; Queen's University Belfast - School of Law

Luke Moffett

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law

Date Written: December 2, 2015

Abstract

Images of oil-covered seabirds or radioactive fallout from nuclear disasters easily evoke concerns over the risks to personal integrity and environmental degradation. The energy extraction industry, like others, is profit driven; a competitive enterprise, with little regard for the social impact of its activities beyond Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) rhetoric. CSR is neither a precautionary measure nor a remedial framework. Outsider stakeholder influence from government is limited and CSR is written on companies’ terms. What emerges is a distortion between companies’ responsibility and accountability for breaches. We propose a hybrid form of accountability that incorporates public international law to ensure the state, as a guardian of society, plays a more definitive role. This will require more binding obligations on states and companies beyond the current soft law principles, to curtail jurisdictional constraints and forum shopping of large corporations, through an international court of reparations to guarantee effective remedies for victims.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; reparations; Ruggie principles

Suggested Citation

Hackett, Ciara and Moffett, Luke, Mapping the Public – Private Law Divide: A Hybrid Approach to Corporate Accountability (December 2, 2015). Queen's University Belfast Law Research Paper No. 06, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2548754 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2548754

Ciara Hackett

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT7 1NN
Ireland

Luke Moffett (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Main Site Town, University Square
Belfast, BT 7 1NN
United Kingdom

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