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Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

The Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law is a centre for research on current issues relating to all fields of commercial and corporate law, banking and financial law and regulation and sellect aspects of international economic law. Institute members are involved in a wide variety of projects, covering topics such as comparative corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, the regulation of banks, shadow banks and financial institutions, legal issues associated with corporate and commercial finance, international commercial arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, secured transactions law, the international law on foreign investment, money laundering, commercial fraud, competition law, international trade, consumer law, harmonisation of law, and the development of commercial law. The Institute is robustly interdisciplinary, with members doing empirical, theoretical, and historical research as well as doctrinal research.

Most Institute members teach on the LLM (International Trade and Commercial Law) and LLM (Corporate Law), as module leaders, dissertation supervisors, or both. In addition, they may be able to offer postgraduate research supervision.

 Institute of Commercial and Corporate Law

Forthcoming Symposium - Co-Organised by ICCL and Jilin University School of Law (Changchun China)

When Corporate and International Law Meet: Corporate Agency in a Global Context

11 May 2018

Venue: American Society of International Law, Tillar House, WAshington DC

ASIL ILTIG Symposium

Among the most significant challenges for governments and international organisations is to develop institutions for economic globalisation to promote economic growth but which also comply with moral demands that we can reasonably agree apply to these institutions. This symposium brings together legal scholars, social scientists, and philosophers to address these challenges.

The relationship between the international law on economic globalisation and the regulation of the corporation is underexplored. Corporate law scholars do not talk to international law scholars and vice versa, even though corporations are among the most powerful global economic actors, often more powerful than states, and whose actions often have global systemic significance affecting the rights and welfare of many. Still missing is a decent conception of corporate personhood upon which to rest a clear legal conception of responsibility on the corporation. Corporate legal scholars have developed a considerable body of work on the tensions between shareholder primacy and corporate social responsibility but this research avoids basic problems of human motivation and incentives, the collective action failures that tend to result without clear government mandates, and the effects on capital markets of pricing corporate social responsibility norms into share valuations. A pressing need exists to understand the relationship of China’s model of state-led development and enterprise governance on corporate social responsibility, particularly with the rise of China’s One-Belt One-Road initiative, the largest international investment initiative ever undertaken in the history of the world. The Beijing Consensus now holds the potential to overtake the Washington Consensus and change the nature of corporate governance and the role of the state in the regulation of firms. The business and human rights agenda has produced advances but they are limited by the reach and scope of international human rights law. International human rights law has not had the transformative effects that many hoped it would have. While discussions were ongoing about how to make corporations more socially responsible, the architecture for a global economy of liberalised trade, investment, and finance came into existence, an architecture supporting a liberal market order based on supply chains, outsourcing, offshoring, and the free trans-border flow of direct investment and financial capital. Add to this mix that cosmopolitan theories of global justice prevalent in normative political theory have made no contact with actual policy making or treaty developments. If justice is a consideration at all in law or public policy, governments seem to follow clear Rawlsian-type distinctions about the site of justice as the state. These strands are evidence of fragmentation in the legal order relevant to regulating multinational enterprises. It is a form of vertical fragmentation to be added to the horizontal fragmentation found in international law itself. This symposium explores these and other issues.

Keynote Lecture: James V Feinerman, Associate Dean for Transnational Programs, Co-Director, Georgetown Law Asia, and James M. Morita Professor of Asian Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center

Speakers include:

Daniel Attenborough, Associate Professor of Law, Durham University

Larry Catá Backer, W. Richard and Mary Eshelman Faculty Scholar & Professor of Law and International Affairs, Pennsylvania State University

Xi Chao, Professor and Vice Chancellor's Outstanding Fellow, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Zhipeng He, Professor of Law, Vice Dean for Education, Jilin University

Charles T Kotuby Jr, Partner, Jones Day

John Linarelli, Professor of Commercial Law, Durham University

Ming Qi, Professor of Law, Jilin University

Kish Parella, Associate Professor of Law, Washington & Lee University

Nicolas Perrone, Assistant Professor of Law, Durham University

Xirong Ren, Professor and Vice Dean for Academics, Jilin University

Ruth Sample, Associate Professor of Philosophy. University of New Hampshire

Beth Stephens, Distinguished Professor of Law, Rutgers University

Hongyun Tian, Professor of Law, Jillin University

William R Thomas, Climenko Fellow, Harvard University

Shuangge Wen, Professor of Law, Jilin University

Contact Details

Durham University,
Durham Law School,
Palatine Centre, Stockton Road
Durham, DH1 3LE
Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 2800