A Tiger Without Teeth? The Forthcoming Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) and the Place of Traditional Penalties

Margaret Cusenza, Vivienne Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (MSA) imposes modern slavery reporting requirements on lead firms in supply chains; relying on a reputation and market-forces compliance mechanism to encourage companies to comply and address modern slavery in their supply chains. This article assesses the MSA’s compliance mechanism and argues that while it may have been necessary at first, its limitations are significant. New evidence suggests it is unlikely the MSA’s design will be effective in requiring companies to comply with reporting requirements. This article argues this will be so even when incidental enforcement mechanisms of directors’ duties and misleading and deceptive conduct are taken into account – consistent with regulatory theory perspectives that suggest the MSA’s compliance mechanism is in sufficient and requires supplementation. In offering suggestions for reform, this article draws on alternative modern slavery regulatory models – contributing to the debate that will surround the forthcoming mandatory review of the MSA’s operation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-178
Number of pages27
JournalCompany and Securities Law Journal
Volume38
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Modern Slavery
  • legislative framework
  • slavery
  • servitude
  • forced labour
  • child labour
  • forced marriage
  • bonded labour
  • slavery-like practices

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