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Efforts to use law to combat the problem of “corporate impunity” risk legitimating the legal fiction of the “corporate person” while turning compensation payments into externalities to be brought into companies’ cost-benefit analyses. Nevertheless, law can be an important site of immanent critique of both law and capital via the articulation of “counterlegalities” that draw attention to violences constitutive of the existing legal order. Human rights abuses are neither conceptualized as individual acts nor narrated as past events. They are exposed as an ever present possibility with roots in the (mostly legal) operation of capitalism. In this light, struggles over corporate impunity demand that the relationship between violence and legality, between past atrocities and a present order of things in which corporations are declared ethical actors who can show “due diligence” for human rights, be addressed.

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