Embedding Business & Human Rights in Ireland: Legislating for Human Rights Due Diligence
30 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 18, 2019
This article seeks to explore the potential for embedding business and human rights in Ireland through legislating for human rights due diligence for business enterprises. Following an introduction in Part I, Part II begins by setting out the international and national contexts, through an analysis of Ireland’s engagement with the United Nations business and human rights agenda. Part III examines the concept of human rights due diligence as articulated in relevant international initiatives and in a number of national laws on the matter. It elaborates on the concept’s substance and scope, taking into account existing international human rights law. Part IV then turns to human rights due diligence in the Irish context. This section discusses existing commitments in Ireland’s National Plan and proposals on human rights due diligence for companies in Ireland, before turning to consider potential legislative activity in this area. Human rights due diligence for companies is acknowledged but not required by the 2017 Regulations implementing the EU Directive on Non-Financial Reporting, while it can be argued that the public sector duty as set out in the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 contains the seed for mandatory due diligence for State-owned or controlled companies. The section considers the possibilities and prospects for legislative development in this area. Part V concludes.
Keywords: business and human rights, Ireland, due diligence, Guiding Principles, treaty
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