A STAG­GER­ING ISO­LA­TION

Can stan­dards and other reg­u­la­tory de­vices es­tab­lished by cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR) prac­tices be likened to le­gal rules and stan­dards?

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE -

We break down what could pos­si­bly be the big­gest story in Qatar's his­tory – the sud­den and dras­tic iso­la­tion of Qatar by its GCC neigh­bours.

Qatar To­day cov­ers the key de­vel­op­ments in the story and analy­ses the eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal fall­out from this stand­off.

We at HEC have demon­strated that CSR in­creas­ingly op­er­ates as a gen­uine nor­ma­tive sys­tem and can even stand in for the law. This is an im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment in a time when, as il­lus­trated by the 2017 list of the ‘100 Most Sus­tain­able Cor­po­ra­tions in the World', cor­po­ra­tions are in­creas­ingly proac­tive when it comes to CSR prac­tices.

Cor­po­rate so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity has en­joyed great suc­cess over the past few years, and has led to a wide­spread, ac­tive and in­ven­tive set of reg­u­la­tory de­vices: codes of con­duct, eth­i­cal stan­dards, whistle­blow­ing poli­cies, con­trol pro­ce­dures in­spired by com­pli­ance, pro­vi­sions for mon­i­tor­ing, eval­u­at­ing, and ob­tain­ing ap­proval from ex­ter­nal rat­ing agen­cies, and more re­cently, per­for­mance in­di­ca­tors and smart mech­a­nisms known as SMARTLaw. For a long time, lawyers dis­missed these stan­dards and de­vices, which they did not con­sider part of the law. Since they were not passed down from of­fi­cial law-mak­ing bod­ies they were not seen as hold­ing a le­gal pedi­gree and could not there­fore be con­sid­ered as law. How­ever, the tide now seems to be turn­ing. CSR stan­dards grad­u­ally seen as bind­ing In re­cent years, sev­eral highly pub­li­cized le­gal cases have been more favourable to CSR stan­dards. One ex­am­ple was the Kasky

v.Nike case in which Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court jus­tices, us­ing a Cal­i­for­nia state law pro­vi­sion about hon­est prac­tices in com­mer­cial mat­ters, ruled that Nike could be sued for false ad­ver­tis­ing be­cause the com­pany had not com­plied with clauses set forth by its code of con­duct. Sim­i­larly, Euro­pean leg­is­la­tion has adopted a more ac­com­mo­dat­ing at­ti­tude to CSR, stat­ing that a com­pany's fail­ure to com­ply with com­mit­ments es­tab­lished by its code

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