Multinational corporations are economic powers with transnational and delocalized structure, actors in the international arena and protagonists of the contemporary economy. While they are able to take a leading role internationally, acting as drivers of economic growth, in several cases addressed in this book, multinational corporations have been reported to have caused serious human rights violations and massive environmental damage in the territory of their hot States.
The volume follows a two-fold perspective in examining this issue, not only with regard to the adopted profile of investigation ¿ the public and the private international law profiles ¿ but also with reference to the object of analysis. Indeed, this book examines the advancement of international law in such matters, taking into account both the role played by the States and the accountability of the multinational corporations. The two lines of research are deeply interconnected. According to the author, the accountability of multinational corporations on the international stage is the combined effect of a movement generated by the States and the international community, as well as the result of a number of trends and processes followed by the corporations.
The author examines these issues in detail by addressing three key components: the international obligations imposed on States in this field; the corporate responsibility, corporate accountability and contract regulation of certain activities in accordance with the principles and the standards required in international law; and the US and European case law on the civil liability of multinational corporations related to human rights violations and environmental damage. Having evaluated the potentials and the limits of each of the instruments at stake, the book concludes that the accountability of multinational corporations is the result of a synergistic process and the implementation of principles enshrined in international law.