SOME CONSIDERATIONS ON THE LEGAL STRUCTURE OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE MULTINATIONAL ENTERPRISES

in The Italian Yearbook of International Law Online
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References

' The literature on multinational enterprises is extremely vast. For a comprehensive bibliography on the subject up to 1974, see United Nations. Tra»snatio»al Corporations. A select bibliography, New York, 1975. On the legal structure of multinational enterprise cf., particularly, HADARI, " The Structure of the Private Multinational Enterprise ", Michigan Law Review (1973), p. 729 ff.; TINDALL, Multinational Enterprises, New York and Leiden. 1975. It is to be noted that the United Nations and scholars in the Third World countries tend now to prefer the term " transnational " to " multinational enterprises ". The reason for this is that in their opinion the term " multinational " should be reserved for companies which are truly owned and managed by nationals of several countries whereas most of the big international companies would not fit this definition at the present time: cf. THARP, " Transnational Enterprises and International Regulation. A Survey of Various Approaches in International Organization ", Int. Org. (1976), p. 47. In this paper, however, the term " transnational enterprises will be used with a different meaning, as an equivalent of " supranational " enterprises. 2 For this definition of multinational enterprises see, among others, MALINTOPPI, " Alcune riflessioni sul diritto applicabile alle imprese multinazionali ", Giurlsprudeuza commercial (i97.�), p. 731 ff.; SANTA MARIA, " Imprese multinazionali e Comunita econo- mica europea ", Rivista (1975), p. 279. For a survey of the various definitions proposed on the subject cf. United Nations, (Multinational Corporations in World Developmevt, New York, 1973, p. ff. and p. 118 ff.

3 Foreign Ownership and the Structure of Canadian Industry, Report of the Task Force on the Structure of Canadian Industry, 1968, p. 33; KINDLEBERGER, American Business Abroad, New Haven, Conn., 1969, p. 207 tL; ROBINSON, " Beyond the Multinational Cor- poration ", International Business Governme,it Affairs, Cambridge, Mass. (1973), p. 17 ff. See, also PERLMUTTER, " The Tortuous Evolution of the Multinational Corporation ", Columbia ]journal of World Business (1969), p. 11 ff. In his opinion multinationals may be .. ethnocentric (or home country oriented), iioINIcentric (or host country oriented) and geo- centric (or world oriented ". For the same line of thought cf. PATERNOT, " Les societes muhi- nationales ", Revue economtque et sociale (1973), p. 21 ff. See KINDLEBERGER, Op. cit., 5 Cf. ALLEGRI, " Note giuridiche sulle c.d societa multinazionali ", Rivista delle societh (1975), p. 883 ff. 6 TINDALL. Op. cit.

7 Cf. BALL, Cosmocorp: The Importance of Being Stateless, in BROWN, World Business, New York, 1970, p. 337; United Nations, Mu!tinational Corporations in World Development, cit., p. 93 ff. For a sceptic's view on the subject cf. RUBIN, " Corporation and Society: The Remedy of Federal and International Incorporation ", American University Law Review, ( I973 )� p. 263 ff. 8 Cf., lastly, GoLnMarr, Unification internationale et harmonisation du droit dans le do- maine des societes multinationales, Report to the 2nd International Congress on Private Law (Rome, September 9-15, r976). 9 See Fr.rcLEx, Multinational Public Enterprises, 1967, p. 8. Enterprises set up pur- suant to international agreements have been also described as " International Public Cor- porations (FRIEDMAN, " International Public Corporations ", Modern Law Review (1943),

p. 185 ff.), " Common Enterprises " (SERENI, " International Economic Institutions and the Municipal Law of States ", Hague Recueil (1959), I, p. 169 ff.; TOSATO, "Sulla nozione di impresa comune nel diritto internazionale ", Rivista (1967), p. 632 ff.), " International Corporations " (CALON, " La societe internationale. elements d'une theorie generale ", Clunet (1961), p. 730 ff.), " International Enterprises " (CONFORTI, " Le imprese interna- zionali", RDIPP (1970), p. 229). 10 For a general survey of the various public multinational enterprises see ADAM, Les organismes internationaux specialises. Contribution à la theorie generale des etablissements public internationaux, Paris, 1965; FLIGLER, op. cit.: SUNDSTROM, Public International Utility Corporations, Leiden, 1972; LIBRECHT, Entreprise à caractère iuridiquement interngtionale, Leiden, i97z. �1 With particular reference to Intelsat cf. GALLOWAY, " Worldwide Integration and International Integration: The Case of Intelsat ", Int. Org. (1970), p. 503 ff. On the structure of Intelsat see, lastly, LEVY, INTELSAT; Technology, Politics and the Trans- formation of a Regime, ibid. (1975), p. 655 ff.

12 Opinions on the subject diverge. See, for example, DRUCK, Gemeinsame Unternehnten in Staatenverbindungen, Gottingen, 1962, p. 286 ff.; and CONFORTI, op. cit., p. 238. 13 For the same conclusion see, among others, MANN, " International Corporations and National Law ", B.Y.I.L., p. 145 ff.; KAHN, " International Companies ", JournaL of World Trade Law (ig6g), p. 498 ff.; Schmitthoff, " The Role of Multinational Enterprise in an Enlarged European Community ", Legal Problems off an Enlarged European Community, London (1972), p. 212. 11 Cf. Manx. op. cit., p. 51.

:5 Cf T�.�.�a.i. Op. our. 16 Cf. Robinson, op. cit. 11 Cf. P-C.IT., Serbian l...G�1;S. Judgement, s9z9, Series A. Nows. 20-21, p. 41 ( Any contract which is not a contract r�;-ee3 Stares in their capacity as subjects of inter- :-8:iooal .ca\1. is based on the municipal 12,; of some country "). 1` It is generally acknowledged :hai each international organization has its own legal 5}'s¡es regulating the internal legal relations of the organization- such legal system being endretv separated from any other legal systems Among others. ZEMANEK, 1'ertragsrechi der :1;!fT>;�!:()1;;¡Je>'i Or¡'I111is;¡:;o':en. �ien. 195ï. p. 90 if. 1 \Te have seen before that the same Thing apples also to some public multinational enterprises (cf., _<Ii 7:;. paragraph 3). What is suggested now in the text is that iaa some instances a private multinational enterprise as well may have its own legal 5}"STem rc&'.1hriTIg the internal affairs of the enterprise. Reference to internal rules of private multinational enterprises. independent of an; particular system of lavw. is made also by Goldman, op. cit. After noting that whaT is secular of the relations Between a parent company and its subsidiaries c esi le oonir6it qu'eserce sue cel)e-ci la societe-mere " and that " les m6canismes de ce contr6le sonma- 7 "- �e Author points out: " Ces m6capi-,-m-es complexes et perfecrionnes ne resjhent :�:ue'4' �r d'aucune legislation, na'donaJe Oil internationale; ils sont 1'oe�ne des sociéTé-s multinaiicna]es ei'e-�c-� ". J9 The writer proposes TO do this in a more comprehensive srudy which he is " ,. preparing on the sjc ecr

20 On the question of the legal personality of these enterprises within the legal systems of States which did not take part in their formation cf. CONFORTI, op. cit., p. 247 ff.

21 We understand that United States' proposal to set up a public multinational enterprise (of the Intelsat type) for the exploitation of seabed resources has not been given a favourable reception. 22 For a survey of present stage of discussions within the U.N. cf. RUBIN, " Develop- ments in the Law and Institutions of International Economic Relations. Reflections Con- cerning the United Nations Commission on Transnational Corporations ", A.J.LL. (1976), p. 73 ff.; IDEM, The International Unification and L�armonization of the Law Regarding Multinational Companies, Report to the 2nd International Congress on Private Law (Rome, September 9-15, 1976).

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