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The Turn to Contractual Responsibility in the Global Extractive Industry

This article argues that there is a newer model of contracting for natural resources that expands the potential for corporate responsibility towards those adversely affected by business activities…The article calls for a renewed focus in exploring enforcement of corporate obligations for impacts to individuals and communities within a contractual framework…These contractual forms demonstrate that the law of contract has evolved from the nineteenth century idea that contracts merely protect the rights of investors without much concern for those who are directly affected by extractive industry operations. By including affected communities…these new contractual forms demonstrate that investors and governments are trustees and that extractive resources must be mobilized for the benefits of their publics. In so doing, we map this turn to contracts between multiple parties…and argue that it affirmatively demonstrates real potential to address or mitigate the absence of remedial and responsibility regimes for the adverse impacts of extractive industry activities…

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