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Flaminia Stârc-Meclejan: On the civic commitments of legal persons and the disciplinary power of "private" law


Abstract: Law requires constraint? When voluntary codes become so ‘soft’ that they impose no genuine constraint on the regulated entities, then it is a misnomer to use the term ‘law’ to describe them? Commonly debated by jurists and the general public, since the 1940s (in the US), the question of corporate citizenship rises to prominence again as the European Commission adopted on 23 February 2022 a draft directive on corporate sustainability due diligence. This is the context in which we propose a discussion on codes of conduct adopted by companies as an alternative and pragmatic way to regulate the behavior of private actors in the global economy, in the presence of the limits of national and international legal frameworks.

Keywords: legal person, corporate citizenship, duty to respect human rights, the environment and good governance, hard v. soft law


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