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