This special issue of Oslo Law Review collects some of the papers that were presented at a seminar I organised in Oslo on 9 September 2022 on the topic ʻCorporate Social Responsibility and the Transparency Act (Åpenhetsloven): The Norwegian and International Perspectivesʼ.

Corporate social responsibility is an area that is rapidly gaining attention. The issue of companiesʼ accountability for the whole value chain is raised with increased frequency, particularly as far as concerns violation of human rights, labour- or environmental law incurred abroad by subsidiaries or suppliers.

The EU is working on an extensive regulation of the issue. At the time of the seminar, the most recent development was the Commissionʼs adoption of a proposal for a Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence on 23 February 2022 (COM(2022) 71 final). Since then, the European Council adopted its negotiating position on 30 November 2022, the European Parliament adopted some amendments on 1 June 2023, and the legislative process is continuing.

Among the international instruments on the issue, the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Conduct is particularly significant. The Guidance is increasingly being implemented in domestic legislation, among others in Norway with the Transparency Act of 2021.

The issue can be looked at from different perspectives. Depending on whether it is framed as an issue of public law or of company law, or as a matter of civil liability, the legal effects will vary—including the jurisdiction of the courts, the applicable law, the basis for liability and the consequences of any breach.

The Oslo seminar gathered Norwegian and international experts and practitioners who discussed the regime in Norway in light of the international framework, the ongoing work in the EU, and relevant developments in other countries, as well as the practical implications.

The seminar took place at the premises of the Norwegian law firm BAHR and could be organised thanks to the financial support of the University of Oslo (Research Group International Law and Governance, Oslo Center for Commercial Law, Lovsamlingsfondet and Privatrettsfondet), BI Norwegian Business School, EY Norway and the Norwegian law firm Selmer.

Giuditta Cordero-Moss, University of Oslo

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