On 18 July 2017, a roundtable was organised by the Centre for India Australia Studies (CIAS) on “Corporate Governance, Responsibility and Sustainability in India and Australia”. Professor Bryan Horrigan, Dean of Monash Law School and Mr. Shardul Shroff, Executive Chairman of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, spoke alongside other leading academics, practitioners and government officials during this event. The participants discussed the business context and regulatory frameworks for corporate governance, responsibility, and sustainability in both India and Australia.
The event on “Corporate Governance, Responsibility, and Sustainability in India and Australia” saw the participants compare the different corporate regulatory regimes and practices in Australia and India, and explore what each jurisdiction can learn from each other. The practitioners, academics, and government officials provided a range of opinions and perspectives on these broad dimensions of corporate regulation and practice.
For the most part, India and Australia have reached broadly similar conclusions on issues such as independent directors, while following different developmental paths on other issues. Australia's corporate governance framework now contains a requirement for companies to report on material risks concerning economic, social, and environmental sustainability. A recently published legal opinion suggests that company directors breach their duty of care if they mismanage climate change risks, with implications for businesses elsewhere too. Companies and lawyers in both India and Australia are also subject to new global standards on business and human rights.