Company & Partnership Law and Environmental Law Dissertation Topics & Ideas

Here we have a selection of 10 dissertation topics and ideas on company & partnership law and environmental law. Please use these topics to help you create your own law dissertation topics.

Example Dissertation Topics & Ideas

1. Is the English maintenance of the “internal management” model failing to bring company law in the 21st Century?

This dissertation topic will explore the extent that the internal management model is limiting the effectiveness of English company law. It will examine two elements of this model: 1) the reluctance of the courts to interfere with the "company contract" (Foss v Harbottle (1843) 2 Hare 461); and 2) the limitations on the minority to challenge the mismanagement of the company (s. 260 Companies Act 2006). Thus, this discussion will explore if the conservative approach of the judiciary, in application of the internal management rule, stymies the shareholder's policing role.

2. Are Outsider Rights effectively protected by the Companies Act 2006?

This dissertation topic will explore the various routes that outsiders (such as creditors) are protected from misdeeds of the company and directors. Thus, it will explore creditor and third party rights in the case of solvency and insolvency. This means that protections under ss.170-174 of the Companies Act 2006 will be explored; as well as ss. 216-217 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (First Independent Factors and Finance Ltd v Mountford [2008] EWHC 835 (Ch)). The purpose of this discussion is to determine if outsider rights are effectively protected, which means a comparative case study with US stakeholder legislation in Oregon and Delaware will also be considered.

3. Should Human Rights Abuses by Subsidiaries and Controlled Supply Chains be sufficient to pierce the Corporate Veil?

This dissertation topic will explore of the Companies Act 2006 has implemented an effective model of director's duties (s. 172) and derivative action (s. 260), in order to enable the NGO shareholder to ensure that companies maintain a minimum CSR standard. The research explores the different avenues to veil piercing, especially the potential that s. 172 will enable outsider veil piercing through proxy shareholdership. Therefore it considers the development of company to enable a more empowered shareholder body, as well as the ability for the NGO to use the CA 2006 to hold directors and MNCs liable for bad faith acts.

4. To what extent have director's duties been extended under ss. 170-174 of the Companies Act 2006?

This dissertation topic will explore if the extended director duties under ss. 170-174 of the Companies Act 2006 have changes the state of play in English company law, or if the conservatism of the judiciary has maintained the pre-2006 approach. Thus, it will explore pre- and post-CA 2006 case law to see if there are more substantive director's duties. An important part of this discussion is an examination of the theories of director's duties (i.e. the shareholder, Enhanced Value Shareholder (ESV) and Stakeholder models), in order to determine the effectiveness of the CA 2006 model.

5. Should the OECD's Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital 2010 be ratified into UK Law?

The current taxation model is based on a nationalised model, because it is integrally tied to sovereignty. The result of this is the application of tax law essentially must emanate from the state. This model is being challenged by globalisation, because the growth of multinational companies (MNCs) has developed a challenge to effective and redistributive taxation on a national level. This has given rise to the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital 2010, which uses the term permanent establishment under Article 5 to designate the correct place for taxation for the whole unitary model (as opposed to taking each entity separately). It will then consider the different models of Global Apportionment Formulae, which will consider the Federal /State (Provincial) applications in Canada and the US. Thus, This dissertation topic will explore if this model is plausible in English taxation law, which would seem compatible with the traditional application of company domicile through the “command and control” model (De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd v Howe (1906) 5 TC 198; Wood v Holden [2006] EWCA Civ 26).

6. Has the Limited Liability Partnership Model provided an effective alternative to the Complexity of Incorporation and the Personal Risks associated with Partnership law?

The development of the LLP has created an alternative to the traditional company model for the sole trader/partnership, which was enabled through theLimited Liability Partnerships Act 2000. This dissertation topic will explore if the hybrid model of the LLP is an effective model or if it is only suitable for certain business models. The LLP is prevalent in the construction industry, which indicates that the model is suited for specific ventures. Thus, the following research will centre on the construction industry and the pitfalls of Company and traditional partnership law, in which the LLP fills an important gap.

7. To what extent has Environmental Law merged together Vicarious and Corporate Liability?

The nature of the “controlling mind” has been developed in recent years within English Environmental Law. The case of Shanks and McEwan (Teeside) Ltd v Environment Agency [1997] Env LR 305 identified that “knowledge” could be imputed through the presence of waste management license. This line of thought has been developed to create the potential for knowledge to be credited through due diligence requirements. Thus, this dissertation will consider if the law should be reformed to create a vicarious liability in all environmental cases for controlling companies, except when due diligence is applied.

8. Are the remedies associated with corporate breaches of Environmental Law sufficient to act as a deterrent?

The difficulties associated with environmental crime penalties are that there is a “white collar” distinction; albeit this assumption fails to understand the true impact of environmental crime. This is identifiable in the use of fines, which have little or no impact on prevention. Thus, the following topic will explore whether a more substantive approach to environmental crime sanctions must be applied; whereby restitution is at the heart of the model for current and future victims, in order to ensure they are adequately compensated. This dissertation will argue that in this calculation there must also be an element of “penalty” that also acts as a deterrent; as opposed to the weak penalties that enable a cost-benefit analysis by polluters.

9. Should there be a Comprehensive Right to Launch Class Action Suits against Corporations for Environmental Escape and Negligence in English Environmental Law?

This dissertation topic will compare the US and English attitudes to class action suits, because in the area of negligence this action can force companies to act due diligently. It will be put forth that the class action suit, in the US form, is essential to holding companies to account in a number of areas that cross over with the tort of negligence (e.g. environmental pollution, product safety…). Therefore, the comparative approach will not only consider the impact on the law of tort, but also the ability for the US-style class action suit to allow effective sanctions to deter polluting acts.

10. Should the Right to Environmental Quality be incorporated into the European Convention of Human Rights, in order to Effectively Enable Public Interest Litigation?

Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration 1992 identifies that participation of concerned citizens is essential to environmental justice. This principle could be developed to impute that there should be a substantive system and access to environmental justice. In order for this system to be effectively developed there should be a right to environmental quality. The problem is that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has rejected this extension in a number of cases (i.e. Budayeva & Others v Russia (2008) 20th March 2008; Oneryildiz v Turkey (2005) 41 EHRR 20; and Leon Agnieszak Kania v Poland (2009) 21st July 2009). The ECtHR has categorically refused to extend an explicit right to a clean and quiet environment under Article 8, which means there is a systemic failure to provide Environmental Justice. This approach is interesting as there is a right to Environmental Quality in the US, Canada and India, which has enabled public interest litigation. Therefore, the following dissertation will analyse the approach taken by the ECtHR, and consider if it is fit for environmental law in the 21st Century.