Thursday, September 12, 2013
I’m the newest member to the Business Law Prof Blog and also the newest member of the team to academia. In my past life, I spent several years as outside counsel doing commercial litigation and labor and employment work and then twelve years as in-house counsel, leaving corporate life as a deputy general counsel, chief privacy officer, and compliance and ethics officer. That experience guides my scholarly and teaching interests, which include corporate governance, regulatory compliance, corporate social responsibility, business and human rights, legal ethics, legal issues related to social enterprises and social entrepreneurship; and how legislation affects and motivates corporate behavior.
To that end I have written on (1) the need for an affirmative defense to corporate criminal liability for an effective compliance program, using the FCPA as a pilot; (2) the potential unintended consequences of the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals provision, which requires US issuers to disclose whether they source minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo and relies on the SEC for execution of this human rights law; and (3) how the government can incentivize corporations to move beyond voluntary initiatives and industry standards for human rights due diligence in the wake of the 2011 UN Guiding Principles, demands from socially responsible investors, and pressures from worldwide exchanges that require or recommend disclosure on environmental, social and governance factors. My next couple of posts will address the latter two topics- the Dodd Frank provision, which is on appeal to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and is the model for potential legislation in the EU, and the role of corporations vis a vis the state and various stakeholders in human rights. This is the topic of an upcoming conference at West Virginia University supported by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights featuring academics, government officials, business leaders and civil society organizations. You can register here for the conference. http://law.wvu.edu/bhr2013
I look forward to sharing ideas with you all.