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 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
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
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
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 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
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
Introduction On 27 February 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) held that International Organisations do not have absolute immunity under the International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945 (IOIA). This blog discusses the opinion of the Supreme Court.
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
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
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
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
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