ARTICLE: The Struggle for Legitimacy in Environmental Standards Systems: The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2010 Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law, Inc.
Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy

ARTICLE: The Struggle for Legitimacy in Environmental Standards Systems: The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

Summer, 2010

Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy

21 COLO. J. INT'L ENVTL. L. & POL'Y 451

Author

Sarah Fick Vendzules*

Excerpt



I. Introduction
 
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ("OECD") Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are one among several systems of guidelines that purport to provide standards of social and environmental responsibility for Multinational Enterprises ("MNEs"). Each of these systems has attempted to strike a balance that will allow it to gain acceptance across a wide swath of affected interests: from civil societies, non-governmental organizations ("NGOs") and the representatives of labor, to governments, international bodies, and the MNEs themselves. Such balancing could be viewed simplistically as finding a balance between strict standards that gain approval of NGOs but hold very little hope for compliance and loose standards that are widely complied with but have minimal impact. Though this calculus does come into play, in reality, a more complicated balancing occurs along multiple axes. 1 A balancing also occurs between implementation and interpretation, with the position of a regime along the various axes affecting the position it can take with regards to an issue, and vice versa.

This Article will look more closely at one of the systems that has entered this race for legitimacy, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises ("the Guidelines"). The Guidelines have never been referred to as "cutting-edge." However, I will show that the position of the regime along the several axes has allowed some National Contact Points to take a surprisingly radical position on one substantive issue in particular: supply chain responsibility. The Article will examine the Guidelines' evolving position on supply chain responsibility ...
 
 
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