Should the International Accounting Standards Board have responsibility for human rights?

Ken McPhail, Kate Macdonald, John Ferguson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    8 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose – In this paper begin to explore the basis for, and ramifications of, applying relevant human rights norms—such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights—to the International Accounting Sstandards Board (IASB). In doing so, the paper seeks to contribute to
    scholarship on the political legitimization of the IASB’s structure and activities under prevailing global governance conditions
    Design/methodology/approach – The paper explores three distinct argumentative logics regarding responsibilities for justice and human rights vis-à-vis the IASB. First, we explore the basis for applying human rights responsibilities to the IASB through reasoning based on the analysis of ‘public
    power’ (Macdonald, 2008) and public authorization. Second, we develop our reasoning with reference to recent attempts by legal scholars and practitioners to apply human rights obligations to other nonstate and transnational institutions. Finally, we develop reasoning based on Thomas Pogge’s (1992b)
    ideas about institutional harms and corresponding responsibilities.
    Findings – The three distinct argumentative logic rest on differing assumptions - our goal is not to reconcile or synthesise these approaches, but to propose that these approaches offer alternative and in some ways complementary insights, each of which contributes to answering questions about how
    human rights obligations of the IASB should be defined, and how such a responsibility could be “actually proceduralised.”
    Originality/value – The analysis provides an important starting point for beginning to think about how responsibilities for human rights might be applied to the operation of the IASB.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)594-616
    Number of pages24
    JournalAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2016


    • Human rights
    • Accounting
    • IASB
    • United Nations Guiding Principles


    Dive into the research topics of 'Should the International Accounting Standards Board have responsibility for human rights?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this