Chicago Journal of International Law

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In 2014, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (“STL”) examined evolving international standards of corporate accountability and held that legal entities can be found liable for criminal conduct as a general principle of international law. Prior to this decision, and in stark contrast to trends in domestic legal regimes, no legal entity had ever been prosecuted, convicted, or sentenced in an international court. Although this marked a watershed moment in global corporate accountability mechanisms, it has had little precedential effect; scholars have argued it is because the decision lacked a valid legal basis and is limited in scope. This Comment addresses these criticisms by examining the legal and historical record informing the decision and corporate accountability in general. Furthermore, it confirms the holding that corporate accountability is a general principle of international law and explores the use of this judgment as the basis for international corporate accountability.

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