COURSE SHORT DESCRIPTION:
This course provides an introduction to the law and policy of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The focus is on CSR (1) as a subject of legal regulation within states, (2) as a matter of international law and compliance beyond the state, and (3) as a tool and methodology for privatizing regulation through the enterprise itself operating in global production chains. The emphasis is on the study of the legal and regulatory frameworks. These frameworks include those existing and emerging within states, in international institutions, and within production chains and the apex corporations that manage them. The course begins with issues of definitions and of variations in approaches to legal and other governance mechanisms in the U.S. and among major commercial jurisdictions. It then turns to the existing law of CSR, focusing specifically on charitable giving and disclosure regimes. It then considers the rise of CSR regulatory regimes as privatized law making that uses the mechanisms of contract to regulate conduct throughout a production chain. It then considers the emergence of international standards as they inform regulatory efforts in states and enterprises and as normative standards in their own right. It ends with a consideration of key trends and developments going forward.
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Learning Outcomes Assessment:
Student achievement in all learning outcomes will be measured in a final examination that may be undertaken in one of two ways. Students may choose to (1) take a 24 hour take home final examination, or (2) submit a paper. Learning Outcomes will be monitored through student participation in the weekly discussion of problems that build on readings.
This Syllabus consists of a (1) Course Concept Statement, (2) Statement of Course Content and Structure, (3) Summary Syllabus (With Weekly Discussion Themes), and (4) Detailed Syllabus With Problems and Assigned Readings.
Course Concept Statement:
Statement of Course Content and Structure
NOTE: THESE MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO CONSTANTLY EVOLVING NATURE OF THE FIELD and STUDENTS ARE ADVISED TO CHECK THE ASSIGNMENTS PAGE EACH WEEK
Week 1: Course Introduction—Concepts, Law and Policy Baselines: Introduction to the course; CSR definitions and approaches, and the evolution of the field.
Week 2: The Corporate in CSR; corporations, enterprises, and systems; baseline concepts in law and policy.
Week 3: Entities and Relationships: What sort of Entities, systems or relationships are covered under CSR provisions; and Group Presentation 1 (The Organization of the Responsible Enterprise).
Week 4: Philanthropy and the legal regulation of social responsibility: Considering the legal framework in the U.S. and other states focusing on philanthropy and the notions of corporate waste.
Week 5: CSR and Human Rights: the development of human rights based normative systems for the regulation of corporate economic activity.
Week 6: CSR and Sustainability: the broadening of corporate responsibility from philanthropy and human rights to sustainability, understood both as respect for environment and resource management for the long term.
Week 7: Group Presentation 2: Mapping CSR in the Enterprise and its Production Chains.
Week 8: Responsibility as Transparency: disclosure regimes in national law and the use of market driven management of behavior; the use of transparency and compliance systems by the government to monitor and hold enterprises accountable for violations of law.
Week 9: Self-Regulation; Third Party Certification, and its Legal Effects: Corporate Social Responsibility Codes; what are they and how do they operate; third party certification, legal and social effects; CSR and social credit.
Week 10: Group Presentation 3: From Conception to Operation; How Enterprises Enforce CSR
Week 11: International Soft Law Approaches: the U.N. Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights; OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Week 12: Legal Effects of CSR Codes: Recent litigation and future strategies with a focus on veil piercing, mutuality of contract, and 3rd party beneficiary defenses.
Week 13: Home state remedies: Remedy from the international perspective; Extraterritoriality and Corruption.
Week 14: Group Presentation 4: Grievance mechanisms, anti-corruption efforts and assessment of reporting