Company Directors and Corporate Social Responsibility, UK and Australian perspectives
Edited by RP Austin
Ross Parsons Centre of Commercial, Corporate and Taxation Law
Corporate Social Responsibility has become one of the most important and controversial issues in United Kingdom and Australian corporate law.
In November 2006 a new Companies Act was passed by the UK Parliament. The Act, which introduced major reforms to UK companies law, includes changes to the formulation of directors' duties which, potentially, have a significant impact on corporate social responsibility. Specifically, the new statutory provisions are based on the concept of "enlightened self-interest". This new approach in the UK will inevitably influence the future direction of the law relating to directors' duties in Australia.
This book is, in part, an edited transcript of a conference held in Sydney in August 2006 by the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Law Society of New South Wales. The conference examined the relevant provisions of the then UK Bill, with papers presented by Lady M H Arden of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, who played an important role in preparation of the Bill, and leading Australian corporate law commentators. The papers were followed by an engaging Hypothetical chaired by Mr Alan Cameron, with contributions from other leading corporate lawyers. The book also includes a paper by Justice R P Austin of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, assessing the relevance of the UK reforms for this country.
The second in a series of monographs will be of interest to lawyers, company directors and executives and others interested in corporate decision-making and the development of the concept of social corporate responsibility.