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The Interaction of Law and Supply Chain Management in Cross-Judicial Supply Chains: Supply Chain Effectiveness of Modern Slavery Legislation

This project investigates where and how legal changes affect supply chain designs and practices at a supply chain level and how various legal mechanisms cause change (or not) in the supply chain.

Modern supply chains cross country boundaries regularly and frequently and with it the boundaries of legal systems. They are affected by hard law, such as international trade law and the law of individual countries; and also by soft law, such as production regulations, codes of conduct and contractual agreements. This project will investigate where and how these legal mechanisms affect design and practices at a supply chain level and how various legal mechanisms cause change (or not) in the supply chain.

The research team aims to identify and analyse laws and norms that are challenging modern slavery, their enforcement and their implementation and effect in the supply chain. The research is set in the UK-Brazil beef and timber supply chains. It is expected that results will inform future supply chain decisions and law-making for the eradication of modern slavery. The project links the disciplines of law and supply chain management. Although both have streams of research on modern slavery, they have so far researched mainly in isolation and at an economy-level, without considering how law and supply chain design and practices interact.

Global supply chains are facing a multitude of legal mechanisms from an increasing number of jurisdictions with the ambition to improve labour conditions and sustainability across the chain. The research results will be useful for supply chain practitioners’ decisions and inform future anti-slavery legislation.

Principal Investigator: Dr Alex Trautrims, University of Nottingham

Co-Investigator: Dr Silvia Pinheiro, Fundação Getulio Vargas

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