What is wrong with corporate law? The purpose of law and the law of purpose

Door Colin Mayer
Gepubliceerd op november 6, 2022

Despite and partly due to economic progress, mankind is confronted with unprecedented (global) challenges like preventing dangerous climate change, stopping the loss of biodiversity, fighting growing inequality, coping with the impact of the technological revolution on work, and now also in Europe, restoring and keeping peace (see for many more, the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The stakes are so high, that depending on and waiting for public authorities to (re)act will not suffice.

What can and should corporations (and corporate law) do to help turning the tide?

In September 2021, the prestigious British Academy published a report on the future of the corporation, proposing that « purpose » be placed at the heart of the corporation, and defining « purpose » as follows: to create profitable solutions for the problems of people and planet, while not profiting from creating problems for either.

LBT is happy to present to you professor Colin Mayers article (“What is Wrong with Corporate Law? The Purpose of Law and the Law of Purpose”) that sets out the origins and background of the remarkable proposal of the British Academy. The article is published in the Annal Reviews and its PDF version on LBT is presented with the permission of the author and the Annual Reviews.