Liability of Parent Companies for Human Rights Violations of Subsidiaries

29 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2015 Last revised: 3 Jul 2015

See all articles by Rolf H. Weber

Rolf H. Weber

University of Zurich - Faculty of Law

Rainer Baisch

University of Zurich

Date Written: July 1, 2015

Abstract

The infringement of human rights by subsidiaries of multinational enterprises has become a thoroughly discussed topic. It is obvious that potential corporate liability under any regime gives incentives to group companies for structuring themselves in a way that, if ever agents who do not respect human right will be held responsible, the liability risks remain within the sphere of a foreign subsidiary. Looking from the perspective of the injured person, this strategy motivates to invoke veil-piercing, direct liability or forum-doctrines to tap the financial capability of the parent company. Following the UNGP the question arises what can be done to establish fair jurisdiction, suitable to hold negligent parent companies liable e.g. based on mandatory due diligence obligations in respect of the adherence to human rights.

Keywords: corporate veil, human rights, liability, duty of care, forum non conveniens, forum necessitatis

JEL Classification: F23, K22, K33

Suggested Citation

Weber, Rolf H. and Baisch, Rainer, Liability of Parent Companies for Human Rights Violations of Subsidiaries (July 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2625536 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2625536

Rolf H. Weber

University of Zurich - Faculty of Law ( email )

Universität Zürich
Rämistrasse 74 / 57
Zürich, CH-8001
Switzerland

Rainer Baisch (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

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