Environmental Responsibility of Transnational Corporations under International Law

Project leader

Funding source

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2003
End date: 31/12/2004
Funding: 1488000 SEK


This research project concerns the responsibility of transnational corporations for environmental damage under international law. The number of cases where transnational corporations cause significant environmental damage increases with the expansion of the international economy. Such damage is often caused in connection to human rights infringements, affecting the local populations. Today, corporations involved in these activities can quite easily escape legal responsibility for their actions - not least if the activities have been carried out in parts of Asia, Africa or Latin America. Control of these activities is thus problematic, practically as well as legally. In the present project, international norms will be studied, e.g. with respect to criteria for responsibility and liability, the allocation of responsibility between parent companies and their subsidiaries, the possibility of having judicial decisions on environmental responsibility enforced, and access to dispute settlement. The study will be carried out in the light of a theoretical discussion on the relation between environmental responsibility of corporations and states. Finally, existing national rules on corporate responsibility in transnational situations as well as national "conflicts of laws" will be studied. Thereby, conclusions may be drawn as to whether the experience from national legal orders can be used for the development of international rules and regimes on the environmental responsibility of transnational corporations.

Last updated on 2017-24-03 at 12:44