Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2020

Publication Citation

27 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 303 (2020)


Multinational enterprises increasingly use Codes of Conduct to

govern the conditions of labor and production among their suppliers'

operations around the globe. These Codes of Conduct, produced

unilaterally by companies as well as by multistakeholder bodies, often

include references to public international law instruments. This article

takes a closer look at thirty-eight Codes of Conduct from the global

apparel industry and uses social network analysis to identify the

patterns in these Codes and how they refer to international legal

instruments. Although some international legal instruments stipulate

rules that can be directly transposed into the private context of supply

chains, this study instead finds that the global apparel industry's Codes

of Conduct are more likely to refer to instruments that only stipulate

rules that pertain to public authorities. The findings call into question.

the legitimizing role that international law plays as it is transposed into

transnationalp rivate governance.

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