Article from: OGEL 4 (2004), in Editorial
This OGEL issue brings studies, articles, comments, discussion, bibliography and news from the oil, gas and energy law and regulation areas around the world.
Two sections merit particular attention:
First, OGEL 4 (2004) publishes, for the first time ever, a comprehensive special issue on "soft" regulation of oil, gas and energy activities focusing on corporate social responsibility, codes, guidelines, standards and authoritative and influential soft-law rules. Lawyers and regulators in the field have to know the applicable law; but moreover, they now have to be familiar with the emerging, and sometimes difficult to identify, soft-law rules emerging from international organisations, professional associations, "civil society", industry self-regulation and other relevant sources of authority.
These have sometimes a direct legal effect - if incorporated or referred to in "hard" legal instruments such as laws, regulations, treaties and contracts. They also can have an indirect legal effect - such as when they define standards of liability or help to interpret open-ended formulations in international treaties, contracts of regulation. Lastly, they also define the expectations against which companies are measured - expectations that play a role in negotiations with governments, local communities, financing institutions, NGOs or that define the ambiguous concept of the "social license to operate". I am most grateful to Christine Batruch, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Lundin Petroleum AB and Ayesha Dias, Consultant on Human Rights and Access to Justice (Bureau of Development Policy, UNDP, New York) and Course Director on Human Rights and Natural Resources Industry (CEPMLP), University of Dundee for taking on the responsibility for editing this special issue.
Furthermore, Aminu Kabir, research associate at CEPMLP/Dundee, has put together a collection of what we regard as the most important international soft-law instruments for companies in the oil, gas and energy world which are included in the special issue. We acknowledge advice from Willy Olsen, former Executive Vice President of STATOIL on the selection. This list is not exhaustive and we would be most appreciative for references about what we have missed.
Marcos Orellana, with the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) in Washington DC and Geneva (one of the most respected and professional NGOs) has contributed an initial survey of the most relevant NGOs in the oil, gas and energy field. Again, we are keen to improve this list and are grateful for additional references.
We publish here as well the recent CIA report on oil intermediaries and corruption during the Saddam Hussein period in Iraq. OGEL takes no responsibility for the specific allegations in this report; we will be pleased to publish substantiated corrections or statements and await with great interest the report by the Volcker Commission on this subject.