JJUA54064U  Corporate Social Responsibility

Volume 2016/2017

The aim of the course is to introduce the participants to the international aspects of business law pertaining to responsibility, especially the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in its various different forms (guises). The course will provide students with knowledge of the theoretical background of and the major legal challenges relating to the different international approaches to business responsibility and accountability, i.e. human rights, labour rights and anti-corruption. The course will challenge the students on the legal basis and business case for social responsibility in relation to business. The students will gain an understanding of new methods of making regulation in the form of "soft law", as well as the growth of international instruments as a consequence of the increased internationalization. In addition the students will be introduced to the different actors or stakeholders in CSR and their role, especially Non Governmental Organizations (NGO's), International Bodies, Businesses, (Social) Media, Governments and the OECD National Contact Point.

The second part of the course will be based on cases and structured as workingseminars where the participants will work in groups. The course will also include dilemma-games. It is thus expected that the participants are willing to make an active contribution both in and outside of the lecture-room.

The course consists of two parts. The first part (4 lectures of 3 hours) contains the historical and theoretical background of the emergence of responsibility and accountability pertaining to business. This part will contain an introduction to the relevant terms and concepts, and the different modes of legal instruments; international instruments, soft law and self regulation. The EU Green Paper on CSR and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The second part (7 lectures of 3 hours) of the course will focus on the most prevalent forms of responsibility that is Human rights, Labour Rights and Anti-Corruption. The Human Rights element will introduce the most fundamental principles of human rights in the World Declaration, European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights, and then focus on the international business angle in relation to the UN Global Compact, the UN Norms and UN Special Representative John Ruggie's Policy Framework (Protect, Respect, Remedy), Alien Tort Claims Act and the differences between responsibility, accountability liability and enforceability. The Labour Rights element will likewise introduce the most fundamental elements of labour rights and how these are being applied to businesses and will include the ILO-declaration of 1998 and the business angle with the UN GLobal Compact and the growing importance of supply-chain-contracts. The Anti-Corruption element will also introduce the most fundamental principles including the UN Convention against Corruption and the business angle in the UN Global Compact and OECD and EU-initiatives with a special emphasis on the extractive industry. The reporting element will focus the new Danish legislation on Non-Financial Reporting and the reporting regime in the UN Global Compact as well as the Global Reporting Initiative. The reporting element will include both the "environmental footprint" as well as the "economic footprint". At the end of the course there will be a one hour session for questions before the exam.

Learning Outcome

The objective of the course is to enable the students to:

- Present and explain the theoretical and practical problems of the course subject

- Identify complicated legal problems

- Analyse complex problems within the course subject based on various relevant and professional approaches

- Argue in favour of professional solutions, make a critical weighing of the relevant arguments and make a reasoned choice in relation to theoretical and practical solutions

- Put into perspective the concrete problems of the course subject in a way that shows that she/he has a professional breadth of view in relation to and knowledge about the course subject

- Communicate and formulate her/his knowledge and arguments professionally and linguistically correctly and in a way that is structured and coherent

Selected passages from “The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility” eds. Andrew Crane et al., 2009, Oxford University Press and a students’ compendium designed by the course lecturers.

Approximately 500 pages.

Type of assessment
Oral defence, 20 minutes
Oral exam based on synopsis, 20 minutes
Exam registration requirements

In order to attend the oral examination, it is a prerequisite to hand in the synopsis before the specified deadline.
The deadline is May 15.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

Autumn: December 19 - 23, 2016 (preliminary dates)


Spring: May 29 - June 2, 2017 (preliminary dates)


Please see "Academic calendar" on KUnet.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Seminar
  • 34
  • Preparation
  • 241
  • Total
  • 275