Calling for Clarity: How Uncertainty Undermines the Legitimacy of the Dispute Resolution System under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises

This article discusses one of the only multilaterally-endorsed grievance mechanisms promoting corporate responsibility - the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Developments Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (the Guidelines). The grievance mechanism contained in the Guidelines, accessed by many communities and their NGO supporters, is expected to facilitate the resolution of disputes between corporations and individuals or communities who allege corporate wrongdoing. The Article ultimately emerges as a critique of the lack of clarity in the Guidelines regarding whether the complaint mechanism permits a determination of breaches of the Guidelines or merely mandates mediation between the complainants and the corporation. Using examples of the approaches used in different countries in applying the Guidelines, this Article posits that this confusion, specifically as it relates to approaches to evidence and confidentiality, affects the legitimacy of the Guidelines and therefore limits the promise of the system of dispute resolution.

File Type: pdf
Categories: International Law
Author: Bernadette Maheandiran