A Reconfiguration of Company and/or Corporate Law Theory

Author: Wishart, David

Source: Journal of Corporate Law Studies, Volume 10, Number 1, April 2010 , pp. 151-178(28)

Publisher: Hart Publishing

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Abstract:

Reform of company and/or corporations law to take account of societal concerns is moribund. The problem is that theory, the source of policy, while in extraordinary volume from many perspectives, is narrowly confined by a heritage arising from the early seventeenth century, in particular The Case of Sutton's Hospital. This article proffers a reading of the case that leads to an understanding of the constraints it applies on theorising. It suggests a way of overcoming those constraints by locating theories against and in relation to each other. This involves considering theories in three dimensions: purpose/law/effect, systemic focus and calculable purpose. All theories are limited in scope in this schema, yet paradoxically theorising is freed from constraint. By way of conclusion, ways in which freer theorising might approach the issue of the social responsibility of companies are indicated.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Corporate Law Studies provides a forum for scholarship on corporate, securities and financial law broadly construed. Thus the Journal publishes articles on subjects as diverse as insolvency and the commercial conflict of laws, in addition to mainstream topics such as directors' duties and financial regulation. The Journal also embraces interdisciplinary work and work in cognate fields.Articles published in the Journal are subject to rigorous peer review. Shorter articles and notes are refereed where appropriate.
    The Journal is published twice a year in June and October.
    The journal will be of interest to academics and practitioners specialising in any of the subjects covered, and also to those with an interest in the strategic direction of the law and the influences which affect it - thus regulators, law and policy-makers, and the judiciary.
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