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  • Multinational corporations can be really big

    跨國公司可以是真正的大公司 --

  • bigger even than some countries.

    甚至比一些國家還大。

  • But does that mean they're more powerful than a country?

    但這是否意味著他們比一個國家更強大?

  • We'll show you how the law keeps things balanced.

    我們會告訴你法律是如何保持平衡的。

  • How can countries stop multinational companies if they break the law?

    如果跨國公司違反法律,各國如何阻止它們?

  • And why do they end up fighting each other in court?

    而為什麼他們最終會在法庭上互相爭吵?

  • And... let's find out how companies structure themselves

    還有......讓我們來看看公司是如何構建自己的。

  • to limit the power of a state.

    來限制一個國家的權力。

  • They're used to getting away with it.

    他們已經習慣於逍遙法外了。

  • For decades, no one's held them to account.

    幾十年來,沒有人追究他們的責任。

  • They've never been subject to any serious pressure.

    他們從來沒有受到過任何嚴重的壓力。

  • So, as these companies grow, is the law keeping up?

    那麼,隨著這些公司的發展,法律是否跟上了?

  • Do countries or companies have more power, legally?

    在法律上,國家或公司是否有更大的權力?

  • Let's look at Canada, one of the most sued countries in the world.

    讓我們來看看加拿大,世界上起訴最多的國家之一。

  • Canada has been sued lots, because of something called

    加拿大已經被起訴了很多次,因為有一種叫做

  • the North American Free Trade Agreement: NAFTA.

    北美自由貿易協定。NAFTA。

  • NAFTA was the free trade deal between Canada, the USA and Mexico.

    北美自由貿易區是加拿大、美國和墨西哥之間的自由貿易協議。

  • But, it also made it easier for investors to sue governments

    但是,它也使投資者更容易起訴政府

  • if they thought the deal was broken.

    如果他們認為交易已經破裂。

  •   Canada soon became the most sued developed country in the world

  • with 35 claims against it.

    有35項針對它的索賠。

  • Foreign companies forced changes in Canadian law on toxic waste imports

    外國公司迫使加拿大修改關於有毒廢物進口的法律

  • and sued for millions of dollars over oil drilling regulations.

    並因石油鑽探條例而被起訴,索賠數百萬美元。

  • Campaigners were unhappy and it was eventually replaced

    競選者不滿意,最終被取代。

  • by the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement,

    由美國-墨西哥-加拿大協議。

  • which limited the power of multinational companies

    這限制了跨國公司的權力

  • to take countries to court.

    將國家告上法庭。

  • Maude Barlow campaigned against the trade agreement,

    莫德-巴洛參加了反對貿易協定的活動。

  • which she saw as deeply unfair.

    她認為這是很不公平的。

  • She explained how she thinks companies got to be so powerful.

    她解釋了她認為公司是如何變得如此強大的。

  • These corporations just expanded out

    這些公司剛剛擴張出去

  • so that their production is in this country,

    是以,他們的生產是在這個國家。

  • and their tax haven's in this country,

    和他們在這個國家的避稅天堂。

  • and their administration's here, and so on...

    和他們的管理在這裡,等等......

  • their head office might be somewhere else.

    他們的總部可能在其他地方。

  • And so they truly are global corporations:

    是以,他們確實是全球性的公司。

  • they really don't belong to nations... nation states.

    他們真的不屬於民族......民族國家。

  • And they want to influence law

    而且他們想影響法律 --

  • both nation-state law, but international law,

    既有民族國家的法律,也有國際法。

  • or lack of international lawso that they can do what they want.

    或缺乏國際法--這樣他們就可以做他們想做的事。

  • Maude thinks some multinational companies use their size and spread

    莫德認為一些跨國公司利用其規模和分佈

  • to influence and avoid the law.

    以影響和規避法律。

  • She explained whether she thought laws

    她解釋說,她是否認為法律

  • helped countries or companies more.

    幫助國家或公司更多。

  • And here's the important thing: that what...

    重要的一點是:那什麼...

  • the kind of laws that corporations get, in free trade agreements,

    在自由貿易協定中,公司得到的那種法律。

  • give them legal right to sue governments

    賦予他們起訴政府的法律權利

  • if they don't like their laws, if they can...

    如果他們不喜歡他們的法律,如果他們能...

  • if they show that their laws can... are affecting their...

    如果他們表明他們的法律可以......正在影響他們的......。

  • their right to profitnegatively affecting their right to make money.

    他們的獲利權--對他們賺錢的權利產生負面影響。

  • Whereas there's nothing currently internationally, at the...

    而目前國際上沒有什麼,在...

  • at the treaty level, at the UN level,

    在條約層面,在聯合國層面。

  • that really does impose restrictions on these corporations.

    這確實是對這些公司的限制。

  • Maude says corporations can get rights from trade agreements,

    莫德說,企業可以從貿易協定中獲得權利。

  • but aren't limited as much by treaties.

    但並不像條約那樣受到限制。

  • She thinks companies have ended up with more power than countries.

    她認為公司最終比國家擁有更多的權力。

  • She explained how:

    她解釋瞭如何。

  • That's the interesting thing: it's not that all the countries got together

    這就是有趣的事情:不是說所有國家都聚在一起了

  • and said, 'Let's give these corporations legal rights that we don't have.'

    並說,'讓我們給這些公司以我們所沒有的合法權利。

  • It happened piece by piece by piece.

    它是一塊一塊地發生的。

  • It started with this North American Free Trade Agreement,

    它始於這個北美自由貿易協定。

  • but since then there are more than 3,000 bilateral investment agreements

    但從那時起,有超過3000個雙邊投資協議

  • between countriesso, that's between any two countries and they...

    國家之間 - 所以,這是在任何兩個國家之間,他們...

  • then the corporation of this country can sue that government,

    那麼這個國家的公司就可以起訴這個政府。

  • and the corporations of that country can sue that government.

    而這個國家的公司可以起訴這個政府。

  • Maude says companies have gradually gained power

    莫德說公司已逐漸獲得權力

  • through lots of trade agreements.

    通過大量的貿易協定。

  • So, some strong opinions there from the campaigner, Maude Barlow.

    是以,運動家莫德-巴洛的一些強烈意見。

  • States and multinationals often disagree.

    國家和多國公司往往有不同意見。

  • Does the way the companies are made protect them from the law?

    公司的製造方式是否能保護他們不受法律約束?

  • For instance, a company is based in the United States,

    例如,一家公司設在美國。

  • but it owns several 'subsidiary companies' in another country,

    但它在另一個國家擁有幾個 "子公司"。

  • like China and Russia, that are registered in those countries.

    像中國和俄羅斯,在這些國家註冊的。

  • This kind of structure means the main company is protected from being sued

    這種結構意味著主要公司受到保護,不會被起訴。

  • because it's harder to sue a parent company

    因為起訴母公司比較困難

  • for the actions of a subsidiary in another country.

    為在另一個國家的子公司的行動。

  • So, what does that actually mean in reality?

    那麼,這在現實中究竟意味著什麼?

  • Daniel Leader has taken major companies to court.

    丹尼爾-利德曾將大公司告上法庭。

  • He explains how hard it is to punish a parent company

    他解釋了懲罰母公司有多難

  • for the actions of a subsidiary.

    為子公司的行為負責。

  • It is hard. We've had long legal battles

    這很難。我們經歷了漫長的法律鬥爭

  • that have gone all the way to the Supreme Court,

    這些案件一直延續到最高法院。

  • where parent companies try to limit

    其中母公司試圖限制

  • the principle of parent company liability.

    母公司責任的原則。

  • But, happily, the Supreme Court now has twice rejected

    但是,令人高興的是,最高法院現在已經兩次駁回了

  • the company's attempt to narrow parent company liability,

    該公司試圖縮小母公司的責任。

  • and has in fact unanimously expanded the scope

    並在事實上一致擴大了範圍。

  • of parent company liability,

    承擔母公司的責任。

  • and gone so far as to say if a parent company makes a public commitment

    甚至於說,如果一個母公司公開承諾

  • about supervising or assisting its subsidiary and it fails to do so,

    關於監督或協助其子公司,它沒有這樣做。

  • that in itself can give rise to legal liability.

    這本身就可以引起法律責任。

  • It is hard to punish a parent company, but some courts,

    要懲罰母公司是很難的,但有些法院。

  • like the UK Supreme Court,

    如英國最高法院。

  • are doing more to hold parent companies responsible.

    正在做更多的工作來追究母公司的責任。

  • How effective is the law in dealing with companies that break the rules?

    法律在處理違反規則的公司方面的效果如何?

  • It's getting more effective. It's...

    它越來越有效了。這是...

  • the fundamental problem is you've had corporate impunity for decades,

    根本問題是,幾十年來,你們的企業一直逍遙法外。

  • if not longer: corporations have not been held to account

    如果不是更長時間:公司沒有被追究責任

  • for very serious human rights and environmental abuses.

    對非常嚴重的侵犯人權和環境的行為。

  • But what's increasingly happening is the courts in many jurisdictions

    但現在越來越多的情況是,許多司法管轄區的法院

  • are saying this is no longer acceptable and they are indicating that

    他們說這不再是可以接受的,他們表示

  • they are willing to hold parent companies to account

    他們願意追究母公司的責任

  • for the harms that their subsidiaries have caused.

    為其子公司所造成的傷害負責。

  • Daniel thinks for many years companies have avoided being punished

    丹尼爾認為多年來公司一直在避免受到懲罰

  • for very serious things, but that is changing.

    對於非常嚴重的事情,但這正在改變。

  • So, how does a company use its structure to avoid legal responsibility?

    那麼,公司如何利用其結構來避免法律責任?

  • Well, historically what they've done is

    嗯,從歷史上看,他們所做的是

  • they've hidden behind what's called the 'corporate veil'.

    他們隱藏在所謂的 "公司面紗 "後面。

  • They've said that the subsidiary is the one that's legally responsible

    他們已經說了,子公司才是法律上的責任者

  • and the parent company should have no legal liability

    而母公司不應承擔任何法律責任

  • at all for what happened.

    對所發生的事情,我沒有任何意見。

  • But that is what we were unable...

    但這正是我們無法...

  • we were able to unpick with the Supreme Court,

    我們能夠與最高法院解開這個問題。

  • where the Supreme Court said, 'Absolutely not.

    其中最高法院說,'絕對不行。

  • We are not going to allow corporations

    我們不會允許公司

  • to hide behind their structures,

    躲在他們的結構後面。

  • if the parent company itself has been involved

    如果母公司本身已經參與其中

  • in the harm that has been committed.'

    在已經發生的傷害中,'。

  • Something called the 'corporate veil'

    稱為 "公司面紗 "的東西

  • meant subsidiary companies were the only ones responsible

    這意味著子公司是唯一負責任的公司

  • if they broke the law and were the only ones punished.

    如果他們違反了法律,並且是唯一受到懲罰的人。

  • How is this actually changing?

    這究竟是如何變化的?

  • Historically, companies have sat back:

    從歷史上看,公司一直坐在後面。

  • they haven't really concerned themselves too much

    他們還沒有真正關心自己的問題

  • about what the working conditions are in factories or in...

    關於工廠的工作條件是什麼,或者在...

  • within their subsidiaries. They've just let it happen.

    在他們的子公司內。他們只是讓它發生。

  • And they've certainly never felt that they could be held to account.

    他們當然也從來沒有覺得他們會被追究責任。

  • But what we are seeing is a real change in attitude:

    但我們看到的是態度上的真正改變。

  • you're getting more and more lawyers willing to take cases,

    你會發現越來越多的律師願意接案。

  • more and more organisations that are monitoring compliance.

    越來越多的組織正在監測合規性。

  • He says where once companies felt they could do what they liked,

    他說,曾經公司覺得他們可以做他們喜歡的事情。

  • now more and more lawyers are willing to fight for your rights

    現在越來越多的律師願意為你的權利而戰

  • against these big companies.

    反對這些大公司。

  • We've seen how multinational companies can try to use the law

    我們已經看到跨國公司如何試圖利用法律

  • to force countries to do what they want.

    迫使國家做他們想做的事。

  • But this episode has also shown the power of the law

    但這一事件也顯示了法律的力量---

  • and the determination of lawyers

    和律師的決心 -

  • to make sure even these huge corporations follow the rules

    以確保即使這些巨大的公司也能遵守規則

  • that keep us all safe.

    確保我們所有人的安全。

Multinational corporations can be really big

跨國公司可以是真正的大公司 --

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B1 中級 中文 公司 法律 國家 起訴 責任 貿易

公司與國家 - BBC學習英語 (Companies vs countries - BBC Learning English)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 10 月 13 日
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