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Publication - Professor Charlotte Villiers

    Legal Ambiguity in Corporate Governance


    Villiers, C, 2016, ‘Legal Ambiguity in Corporate Governance’. in: Stefan Wrbka (eds) The Shifting Meaning of Legal Certainty. Hart Publishing


    The flexible and light touch, quasi-private ordering that characterises corporate governance brings into the spotlight the tensions between self-government and national and international norms. The UK’s approach to corporate governance, which is underscored by the ‘comply-or-explain’ principle, is presented as a way of balancing competing views and so avoiding the process being brought to a halt by people ‘digging in around their differences of opinion.’ The result, however, is another legal uncertainty, a system involving numerous, sometimes rival, regulatory actors, and tensions between mandatory and voluntary approaches. The piecemeal and messy development of the corporate governance system is symptomatic of its inherent ambiguity but also of its confined scope that concentrates on satisfying the shareholders’ pursuit of wealth. Like all neoliberal experiments, this approach to corporate governance will continue to fail in any quest to attain a free society or economy which is unrealizable.

    Full details in the University publications repository