LSA Panel 2012

Events

 

From Soft to Hard Law: Exploring the Role of Transnational Business CSR Standards

LSA Panel 2012 | Law and Society Association Annual Conference, Honolulu | June 5-8, 2012

The LSA Panel 2012, chaired by Professor Errol Meidinger, took place at the 36th annual meeting of The Law and Society Association (LSA), an interdisciplinary scholarly organization committed to social scientific, interpretive, and historical analyses of law across multiple social contexts.

The panel session focused on the diversity of transnational corporate social responsibility (CSR) rule initiatives developed in recent years. These CSR standards take different forms (e.g., “guidelines”, “principles”, “certification standards”), perform different functions (e.g., some apply only to environmental issues, some only to human rights, some to multiple subjects, some only address reporting, etc.), have different proponents (e.g., some are products of inter-governmental processes, others of multi-stakeholder processes, others emanate from industry, etc.), and have been developed in different ways (some through consultations, some through consensus multi-stakeholder processes, etc.).

Approaching the issue from a variety of different perspectives, the four panel papers and discussions focused on the ways that these CSR instruments may evolve from soft law to hard law, and the significance of their form, function, proponents, and process of development in such evolution.

This panel was jointly sponsored by the Law and Society Association’s Regulatory Governance and Transnational Legal Orders research networks, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Panel Information:

A diversity of transnational corporate social responsibility rule initiatives have been developed in recent years. These CSR standards take different forms (e.g., “guidelines”, “principles”, “certification standards”), they perform different functions (e.g., some apply only to environmental issues, some only to human rights, some to multiple subjects, some only address reporting, etc.), they have different proponents (e.g., some are products of inter-governmental processes, others of multi-stakeholder processes, others emanate from industry, etc.), and they have been developed in different ways (some through consultations, some through consensus multi-stakeholder processes, etc.). While not “hard law” instruments in the conventional sense, they may be applied in ways which have legal dimensions (e.g,, as a term of contract between lender and recipient, or as terms in supply chain contracts) and they may have legal significance (e.g,. as part of a consideration of due diligence by a court in a tort action). The purpose of this panel is to explore how such CSR standards may evolve from soft to hard law, and the significance of their form, function, proponents, and process of development in such evolution. In their papers and discussions, panelists will approach the issue from a variety of different perspectives.

Organizers:

Chair/Discussant: Errol Meidinger

Participants:

  • Radu G Mares, “The Hardening of the “Protect, Respect, Remedy” Framework: Legal Implications of Corporate Due Diligence”
  • Michelle Pautz, Amy Bryce Hoflund & Richard Hyde, “One HACCP, Two Approaches: Experiences with and Perceptions of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Food Safety Management Systems in the US and the EU”
  • Kaisa Sorsa, “Regulating Global Value Chains: Examining CSR and Proactive Law”
    Kernaghan Webb, “Custom and International CSR Standards: The Evolving Story”