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Malcolm Rogge

Malcolm Rogge

S.J.D. 2019

mrogge at




Corporate Law in the Human Rights Zone: Loyalty, Humanity and the Global Firm

In my dissertation, I advance a theory of business and human rights. Specifically, I introduce the notion of a human rights zone for corporate decision-makers. The human rights zone is a high stakes decision-making space where the dominant shareholder-centric view of the corporate fiduciary duty morphs under pressure, permitting the appraisal of a broader range of normative criteria and social outcomes. As a heuristic, the human rights zone helps to illuminate the ineludible role of ethics (and politics) in business decision-making; it calls attention to the inherent plasticity of the socially constructed fiduciary duty norm. In the human rights zone, compelling pressures such as the risk to people of conflict-driven violence or forced relocation may push managers to appraise broader comprehensive outcomes over narrow utility-style culmination outcomes (here, I apply the distinction drawn by Amartya Sen between such outcomes). The appraisal of comprehensive outcomes in corporate action, including process outcomes as well as substantive outcomes, provides a rich grounding for a theory of business and human rights. In making my case, I consider the sites of conflict between local communities and multinational extractive enterprises as natural laboratories for examining the “intersecting governance narratives” (Zumbansen, 2013) of transnational industry, business law, and human rights.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Corporate Law & Governance with Professor Robert C. Clark, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Business & Human Rights with Professor John G. Ruggie, Harvard Kennedy School, Affiliated Professor in International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School
  • The Idea of Justice with Professor Amartya Sen, Harvard University

Additional Teaching and Research Interests

  • Theory and History of the Corporation
  • International Economic Law
  • Natural Resources Law and Governance
  • Law and Economic Thought
  • Global Governance
  • Torts
  • Philosophy of Social Science
  • Indigenous Rights and Law
  • Human Rights in Visual Culture


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. 2019
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. Program 2012-2013 (requirements fulfilled, degree waived)
  • Admitted to the Bar of Ontario 2010
  • Osgoode Hall Law School, J.D. 1998 (combined J.D./M.E.S. program)
  • York University, M.E.S. 1998 (combined J.D./M.E.S. program)
  • York University, Graduate Diploma in Latin American and Caribbean Studies 1998
  • University of Manitoba, B.A. First Class Honours Philosophy and English 1994

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • Harvard Law School, 2018-2019, Byse Fellow
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2014-2018, Doctoral Fellow
  • Harvard Law School/Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 (for Professor John G. Ruggie’s course on Global Governance), Teaching Fellow
  • Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2017-2018 and 2016-2017 (for Professor John G. Ruggie and Jane Nelsons’ course on Corporate Responsibility and New Governance Models), Teaching Assistant
  • Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2015-2016 (for Professor John G. Ruggie’s course on Business and Human Rights), Teaching Assistant
  • Jindal Global University/Harvard School of Public Health Summer School on Human Rights and Development, 2016, 2017, 2018, Lecturer
  • Harvard Law School, 2016-2017 and 2015-2016, Graduate Program Fellow, Convener and Moderator of the Law Teaching Colloquium Series
  • Harvard Law School, 2015-2016 and 2014-2015, Graduate Program Fellow, Instructor for the LL.M Writing Workshop
  • Harvard Law School, 2014, Summer Academic Fellow
  • John Peters Humphrey Fellow (Canadian Council on International Law), 2014-2015
  • Fulbright Fellow, 2012-2013

Representative Publications

Additional Information

  • Languages: English, Spanish, French, German
  • Director and Producer of the international award winning documentary film, Under Rich Earth (2009)
  • Past Board Member and Executive Director of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)
  • Recipient of Media Arts Awards for documentary filmmaking from the Canada Council for the Arts; the Ontario Arts Council; the National Film Board of Canada and the Toronto Arts Council.

Last Updated: July 24, 2018