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Implementing human rights due diligence through corporate civil liability


Bueno, Nicolas; Bright, Claire (2020). Implementing human rights due diligence through corporate civil liability. International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 69(4):789-818.

Abstract

Since the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights the relationship between human rights due diligence (HRDD) and corporate liability has been a source of legal uncertainty. In order to clarify this relationship, this article compares and contrasts civil liability provisions aiming at implementing HRDD. It explains the legal liability mechanisms in the draft Treaty on Business and Human Rights and in domestic mandatory HRDD legislation and initiatives such as the French Duty of Vigilance Law and the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative. It compares these developments with the emerging case law on parent company and supply chain liability for human rights abuses. It explores the potentially perverse effects that certain civil liability provisions and court decisions might have on companies’ practices. Finally, it makes recommendations for the design of effective liability mechanisms to implement HRDD.

Abstract

Since the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights the relationship between human rights due diligence (HRDD) and corporate liability has been a source of legal uncertainty. In order to clarify this relationship, this article compares and contrasts civil liability provisions aiming at implementing HRDD. It explains the legal liability mechanisms in the draft Treaty on Business and Human Rights and in domestic mandatory HRDD legislation and initiatives such as the French Duty of Vigilance Law and the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative. It compares these developments with the emerging case law on parent company and supply chain liability for human rights abuses. It explores the potentially perverse effects that certain civil liability provisions and court decisions might have on companies’ practices. Finally, it makes recommendations for the design of effective liability mechanisms to implement HRDD.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:02 Faculty of Law > Human Rights Competence Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
340 Law
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Social Sciences & Humanities > Law
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Science and International Relations, Law
Language:English
Date:1 October 2020
Deposited On:10 Sep 2020 06:52
Last Modified:23 Jun 2024 01:42
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:1471-6895
Additional Information:Copyright: Cambridge University Press
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/s0020589320000305
  • Content: Accepted Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)