An Ethical Reading of the UK Modern Slavery Act and its Implications for Firms

Cranmer, Laurence (2016) An Ethical Reading of the UK Modern Slavery Act and its Implications for Firms. Said Business School Working Paper 2018-02.

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This paper is an initial analysis of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and some of its implications for firms. Further work is required on the arguments used and on the full range of issues arising from the Act. The paper may also be seen as part of a wider attempt to work out how best to engage in an ethical analysis of a firm’s activities.

The Act has implications for all parties that are affected by, or that have an interest in, the problems arising from modern slavery and human trafficking, including firms. The paper makes a distinction between a legal reading and an ethical reading of the Act. A legal reading sets out what the Act requires of parties, including firms, as a matter of law. An ethical reading considers the ethical claims in the Act. The paper addresses some of the implications of these ethical claims for firms, for example implications for the responsibilities of firms. An ethical reading is based on the text of the Act, but does not provide a legal interpretation of this text. In this sense, the analysis in the paper is similar to the analysis of any citizen who is seeking to understand the Act, but is not attempting a legal reading of the Act.

Item Type: Oxford Saïd Research Paper
Keywords: Business ethics, UK Modern Slavery Act, ethical reading
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2018 18:16
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2018 18:16

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