14-15 December 2016: Beijing
‘Globalisation of Corporate Social Responsibility and its Impacts on Corporate Governance: The Chinese Approach and International Experiences’
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has for a long time only played a minor role in law whereas it has been widely studied by, for example, management studies and political sciences. One of the main reasons for this was that CSR was traditionally considered to be purely voluntary and to be ‘above and beyond’ what companies are required to do by law. It was therefore characterised by a soft law approach. Voluntary CSR standards were, inter alia, developed by corporations, by NGOs or by international organisations.
However, recurrent reports about human rights violations in global supply chains and the actions of companies in the wake of the global financial and economic crisis have questioned the soft law approach to CSR. There is a growing realisation that law has got a role to play to ensure CSR is taken seriously.
This Forum addresses the increasing overlap between CSR and law with a particular focus on company law and corporate governance. What is the impact of CSR on company law and corporate governance and, vice versa. How do these systems impact on CSR? Do they enable, require or prevent the socially responsible conduct of companies, for example, through corporate theory, directors’ duties or disclosure laws? What is the role of shareholders in the promotion of CSR?
The Chinese experience is particularly important because of the unique legal and social systems of China. The Forum theme will ensure a sharing of ideas and experiences globally and internationally for all jurisdictions to consider core legal and social aspects of CSR.
Deakin University, Australia
In early 2013 Professor Jean du Plessis, School of Law, Deakin University (Australia), was awarded the Anneliese Maier Research Award by the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He was nominated for this award by Professor Ingo Saenger, University of Muenster (Germany). The award covers the period 1 March 2013 – 28 February 2018. The central theme of research that will is explored under this award fis the further internationalisation of the German corporate law and corporate governance systems. This is done under the general banner, International Corporate Governance and Law (ICGL).
As part of the expectations under the Award, a Forum was held on 4 November 2013 in Muenster (Germany). All the papers delivered at this Forum were published in a Special Issue of the European Business Law Review.
On 20 October 2014 another Forum was held in Melbourne, Australia. All the papers were published in a Special Issue of the Deakin Law Review – see https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/dlr/issue/view/84.
The first 2016 Forum was held in Hong Kong on 25 and 26 April 2016 – see http://2016.icgl.org.au/. Springer Verlag agreed to publish all the papers in a book. The theme for that Forum was “Reflections on Voluntary Corporate Governance Codes: Is it now time to move on from a ‘soft law’ approach to a ‘hard law’ approach?” – see http://2016.icgl.org.au/significance/
As the fourth major initiative sponsored by this Award, the Centre for Comparative Corporate Governance (CCC-G) of the Deakin Law School, with the Renmin Law School, Renmin University, Beijing will be held on 14-15 December 2016 in Beijing, where the presenters will reflect on ‘Globalisation of Corporate Social Responsibility and its Impacts on Corporate Governance: Chinese Approach and International Experience’.