The Imposition of Corporate Liability under a Duty of Care and The Principle of Social-Relations

Jonathan GS Koppell perceives five different dimensions of accountability: transparency, liability, controllability, responsibility and responsiveness. Each of these forms the practical concepts of accountability in this article.

What is clear from the explanation by Koppell is that accountability is indeed an inclusive concept and one with different branches. In order to establish accountability and effective remedy, all the branches must be addressed. As explained above, the concept of accountability has provided some indication of this notion.

However, such an explanation makes it difficult to establish empirically whether a corporation or corporate officials can be subject to accountability for a corporation’s misconduct in relation to business operations under international law. This is due to the fact that the different elements of accountability need widespread operationalisation to establish liability for the corporation’s misconduct because the different fundamentals of accountability cannot be measured along the same scale.

For example, transparency may not carry the same effect as liability for human rights violations. Likewise, the difference between a corporation and its officials makes it difficult to pinpoint the level of liability of either the corporate or the official’s misconduct in the course of the business operation.

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Photo: “Sweatshop project” by “marissaorton” Licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0). Accessed 18 July 2017. https://www.flickr.com/photos/28876688@N03/2697297072/in/gallery-43397057@N04-72157622552078134/

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