Evolution of Core Principles
Traditionally, international law only provided a legal foundation for the management of interstate relations. It did not focus on non-state actors. However, more recently, it began experiencing a major change, which corresponds to corporations’ rise in the legal landscape. Multinational corporations currently play a critical role, as they facilitate international investment as well as trade. Therefore, the past two centuries have witnessed evolution of core legal principles in a number of ways since international business, especially the MNCs have risen from being barely noticed business associations to key global forces that have a significant impact on legal, political, economic, and social developments at both national and international levels.
Firstly, MNC has changed overtime making current ones to be significantly different from the transnational firms that existed a century ago, in relation to operational sophistication, scope, and size (Silverburg 173). In fact, they have changed beyond the legal reach of a number of nation-states, as they can only be regulated at global level. The increase in their operations has been accompanied by increasing harmful activities that pose danger to communities and individuals or frustrate international legal objectives realization. However, because corporations collaborate with governments, they have not been able to account for their wrongdoings. Secondly, their presence have become noticeable, particularly after the Second World War, because of the development of measures aimed at regulating them at international and domestic levels (Silverburg 174). For example, some have taken the form of corporate regulation through voluntary initiatives, such as multi-stakeholder initiatives, intergovernmental approaches, and self-regulation.
In conclusion, core legal principles have evolved in two ways. To begin with, MNCs have witnessed changes in terms of their operational sophistication, scope, and size. Additionally, they have become more noticeable, especially after the Second World War.
Silverburg, Sanford R. International law: contemporary issues and future developments.
Westview Press, 2011.