Being sceptical about corporate social responsibility

Do we have good cause for being sceptical about ‘corporate social responsibility’? This topic will be discussed at the fourth annual Michael Whincop memorial lecture tonight (Monday, August 20).

The lecture is being presented by the Griffith University Socio-Legal Research Centre in conjunction with the Griffith Law School and aims to stimulate debate about this topical issue.

Chair of the organising committee Associate Professor Mary Keyes said companies needed to be responsible for their actions surrounding issues like climate change and that needed to be reflected by the law.

“Corporate social responsibility is an important issue which has attracted a great deal of public interest and attention in recent years,” Associate Professor Keyes said.

“The memorial lecture will critically consider the issue of corporate social responsibility and will analyse the effectiveness of regulation in ensuring corporations behave in a way that is socially responsible.

“The lecture will stimulate debate about whether regulation is an effective means of ensuring that corporations behave in socially responsible ways, in areas such as climate change.”

The lecture will be delivered by two leading experts in Australian corporate law ― Senior Lecturer form the University of New South Wales Angus Corbett with a response by Australian National University Law academic Professor Stephen Bottomley.

Lawyers, especially those who specialise in corporate law, as well as policymakers and regulators will be interested in this debate, Associate Professor Keyes said.

“People interested in the responsibilities of corporations in society and how those responsibilities should be regulated by government will also enjoy this event,” Associate Professor Keyes.

The lecture series was created to honour the contribution the late Professor Michael Whincop made in the areas of critical analysis of corporate law and the application of economic analysis to law, especially in corporate law and private international law.

The lecture will be held at the Law Society House, 179 Ann Street, Brisbane City from 5.30pm.