Is the Concept of ‘Due Diligence’ in the Guiding Principles Coherent?

15 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2013 Last revised: 12 Feb 2013

See all articles by Robert McCorquodale

Robert McCorquodale

British Institute of International and Comparative Law; University of Nottingham

Date Written: January 25, 2013

Abstract

The Guiding Principles on business and human rights draw heavily on the concept of ‘due diligence’ to define and elaborate the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. In the Introduction to the Guiding Principles, the responsibility to respect is defined in terms of due diligence: [T]he corporate responsibility to respect human rights...means that business enterprises should act with due diligence to avoid infringing on the rights of others.

Guiding Principles 17-21, which discuss the practical steps that business enterprises should take to discharge this responsibility, appear under the heading ‘[h]uman rights due diligence’. The term ‘due diligence’ is familiar to both lawyers and business people; its broad rhetorical appeal may explain why Professor Ruggie invoked the term. However, in this paper, we argue that the Guiding Principles confuse two very different meanings of the term ‘due diligence.’

Keywords: international law, human rights, business and human rights

JEL Classification: A13, F23, K10, K22, K33, L22

Suggested Citation

McCorquodale, Robert, Is the Concept of ‘Due Diligence’ in the Guiding Principles Coherent? (January 25, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2210457 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2210457

Robert McCorquodale (Contact Author)

British Institute of International and Comparative Law ( email )

Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square
London WC1B 5JP
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.biicl.org

University of Nottingham ( email )

University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
147
Abstract Views
566
rank
196,295
PlumX Metrics