Thailand’s Legal Frameworks on Corporate Accountability for Outbound Investments

Today, the ICJ hosted a discussion on Thailand’s legal frameworks on corporate accountability for outbound investments in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The forum was co-organized with Earth Rights International.

Lawyers, members of civil society organizations and academics from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand attended the discussion.

Participants discussed:

  • corporate civil, criminal and administrative liability and in particular, the applicable laws governing the prosecution and adjudication of human rights abuses committed by Thai corporations and gaps in Thailand’s legal frameworks. The meeting also looked into recommendations to strengthen Thailand’s domestic laws to increase access to justice for victims of human rights abuses committed by Thai corporations in the context of their business activities abroad, particularly on issues such as: limited liability of shareholders and the “corporate veil” in relation to the responsibilities of Thai corporations, the complexity of laws governing joint ventures, and challenges in bringing state-owned enterprises to justice;
  • jurisdiction of Thai courts in civil, criminal and administrative cases where de facto and de jure foreign subsidiaries of a Thai corporation were involved in wrongful acts or omissions abroad, and problems posed by statutes of limitation;
  • tools for preventing human rights abuses by corporations such as Human Rights Due Diligence (HRDD), Transboundary environmental impact assessments (EIA), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) measures, and the Duty of Care principle under tort law; and
  • the role of other related actors to prevent and mitigate human rights risks, including the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRCT), National Contact Points (NCPs), financial institutions and securities institutions, and provided recommendations to strengthen mandates of such organizations which would allow them to provide better protection for individuals and communities who may be affected by outbound investments.

This discussion will provide the foundation for further work and analysis by the ICJ regarding Thailand’s legal frameworks on corporate accountability for outbound investments. It will also provide the basis for ICJ strategic advocacy at the national level.

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