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Focus on Regulation

Tag Archives: Business and Human Rights

New jurisdiction rules for Duty of Vigilance disputes

Four years after the enactment of the Duty of Vigilance Law, the French National Assembly adopted in first reading on 4 May 2021 the Climate and Resilience bill which clarifies in its Article 71 ter the question of which French court has jurisdiction over disputes relating to the Duty of Vigilance Law. Background The Duty

Current Status Supply Chain Act (Germany)

The German government is planning to introduce a national Supply Chain Act. A corresponding draft bill was approved by the cabinet on 3 March and is expected to be passed before the end of this legislative period. That timeline could mean that the act could come into force on 1 January 2023. Which companies would be affected?

The Business and Human Rights landscape is shifting – be part of the conversation

The European Commission has opened an important new consultation. It asks about the possibility of introducing a mandatory duty for all companies operating in the EU to conduct human rights and environmental due diligence across their supply and/or value chains. The duty would be enforced either by national governments or through national courts. A new

EU adopts a global human rights sanctions regime

On 7 December 2020, the EU adopted a global human rights sanctions regime. No individuals have been designated yet. Going forward, this means that companies should ensure that they conduct sanctions screening on all counterparties and business partners against the EU asset freeze list, even if those third parties are not located in a country

Switzerland: Responsible business initiative narrowly rejected despite gaining 50.7% of popular vote

The public referendum which took place on 29 November 2020 in Switzerland (see here  for further background information) rejected the proposed Responsible Business Initiative despite gaining 50.7% of the popular vote on 29 November 2020. Due diligence obligation and liability for Swiss-based companies Launched in April 2015 by a coalition of Swiss civil society organisations, the Responsible

Switzerland: a public referendum on human rights due diligence for Swiss-based companies

As expected, a public referendum as regards the Responsible Business Initiative (“RBI”) – i.e. a proposal launched in April 2015 by a coalition of Swiss civil society organisations on mandatory human rights due diligence for Swiss-based companies – will take place on 29 November 2020. Due diligence obligation and liability for Swiss-based companies The RBI

The EU Commission’s study on options to regulate directors’ duties and corporate governance

The EU Commission recently published a study on options to regulate directors’ duties and corporate governance which argues that short-termism reduces long-term sustainability of European businesses. The purpose of such study is to contribute in reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) adopted in 2015 and the objectives defined by the Paris Agreement on

The Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise – Lingering Questions on the Role’s Mandate and Powers

Earlier this month, the Canadian government announced the appointment of Sheri Meyerhoffer as the first Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (“CORE”). The position has been lauded as being the first of its kind in the world. This blog post considers a number of the key issues which are still to be ironed out before Ombudsperson

Parent company liability and human rights – new claims against mining company filed in the English courts

On 16 April, proceedings were issued in the English courts against Gemfields Limited, a London-based mining company, in relation to allegations of human rights abuses in connection with the activities of its subsidiary in the vicinity of the Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique. This case comes hot on the heels of the English Court of

Can environmental damage be prosecuted as a crime under international law?

At last week’s IBA War and Justice Conference, ICC judge Howard Morrison said that international criminal law must develop to accommodate the changing nature of atrocities and the changing nature of conflict.  One example is to prosecute the perpetrators of massive environmental damage, including damage connected to business activity.  This is consistent with the ICC

Canada steps up human rights oversight of companies operating abroad

Last week, Canada announced the creation of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE), an independent officer who will be tasked with investigating allegations of human rights abuses linked to Canadian corporations operating abroad. The CORE’s predecessor, the Extractive Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Counsellor, required the permission of a company to investigate a complaint and

Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes helpful new human rights guidance for businesses

The Equality and Human Rights Commission recently published new guidance that outlines, in a practical and accessible way, how company boards can ensure that their companies meet UK and international expectations and obligations in relation to human rights.  The guidance is intended to make it easier for company directors to know whether their businesses are

Human Rights – Good for Business?

Are human rights good for business? In a word, yes! That was the conclusion of the panellists discussing this question at our inaugural Business and Human Rights Practice event. The panel identified the positive role of human rights as part of the rule of law framework that protects business and creates a safe space for