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Time to Get Real: The Necessity of Legal Accountability for Responsible Transnational Commerce

May 2012

Citation: ELR 10414

Author: Richard Reibstein

Editor's Summary: Guaranteeing a greener, more humane, transnational commerce will require new approaches from government, international bodies, civil society, and corporations. The challenges posed by national sovereignty, corruption, and the traditional business model have made greening the worldwide supply chain difficult to accomplish. In this Article, Richard Reibstein examines these challenges and proposes ways in which they might be addressed. Using the Bhopal, India, gas leak disaster as a case study, he explains the need for accountability and reasons why the current system is inadequate. He then offers specific proposals for governments and corporations interested in greener, more humane trade. He ends the Article with suggestions for new approaches to trade and a new model of corporate behavior.

Richard Reibstein is an environmental attorney, analyst, and trainer with expertise in pollution prevention and regulatory policy innovation. He teaches environmental law and policy at Boston University.

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