Corporate Liability and Sustainable Markets

BUS469 Corporate Liability and Sustainable Markets

Spring 2024

  • Topics

    • Corporate governance and compliance with business regulations (with anti-corruption law and competition law as main examples)
    • The protection of whistleblowers
    • Corporate liability for infringements of environmental regulations and selected economic crimes
    • Legal action against competitors. Creating space for business by complaints and law suits against other undertakings ("private enforcement")

    In this course, students become familiar with important legal instruments defining the framework for international business. This includes topics like the lawfulness of receiving State aid, the impact of the rules on public procurement when selling goods or services to public bodies, the implementation of EU environmental regulations as well as competition law and other rules on business behaviour.

    The course takes corporate liability as a starting point, and sees a number of regulatory instrument through that lens, including environmental regulations and selected economic crimes (corruption and competition law as examples). Further, there is a focus on how such regulations may be used strategically, for example by making complaints against competitors. In these respects, the course complements and may also serve as an introduction to other courses in the track, especially BUS 442 and BUS 452.

    Compliance with and understanding of environmental regulations are now expected by companies, including by employees and owners/investors, and therefore, course addresses important themes like state aid and emission trading. Insights from economic theory on the impact of corporate liability will be included. Other legal issues include liability in tort (damages) and labour law (the protection of whistleblowers).

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course, the candidates shall


    • have an overview of the main legal instruments defining the framework of international business
    • have an understanding of environmental regulations
    • have an understanding of corporate liability for infringements and the rights and duties for whistleblowers
    • have an understanding of the law and economics of corporate liability


    • be able to identify and address legal aspects impacting international business operations, including circumstances when harmed by other firms that violate the law for profits
    • be able to provide answers to simple legal questions in the field of EU regulatory regimes, for example state aid law
    • be able to handle cases involving whistleblowing


    • be able to use legal rules both strategically and protectively in order to promote the position of a company
    • be able to discuss and reflect on the impact of legal regulations for the good governance of a company

  • Teaching

    Lectures and case resolution in groups. Some lectures will be digital-only, while others will be held in the auditorium and streamed. See canvas for the detailed course-schedule.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    There is no obvious overlap with other courses. However, the master course BUS452 CORRUPTION - INCENTIVES, DISCLOSURE AND LIABILITY ' will address themes that complement the topics addressed in this course

  • Compulsory Activity

    Compulsory participation in at least 2 out 3 case presentations

  • Assessment

    1) Group-based presentation (25%) (groups of max 3 students)

    2) Group-based term-paper (25%) (groups of max 3 students)

    3) 8 hours individual, home exam - Maximum 15 minutes oral presentation (50%)

    As all parts of the assessment in this course, including the recorded video, by its nature can be re-examined, the grades awarded may be appealed as normal.

  • Grading Scale


  • Literature

    Journal articles, book chapters, reports, and case materials to be provided on the course website

  • Permitted Support Material

    No restrictions, with the exception being that the exam is taken individually


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Will not be offered autumn 2023.

Course responsible

Erling Hjelmeng, Professor, University of Oslo, Adjunct Professor NHH