Implementing Human Rights Due Diligence Through Corporate Civil Liability

International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 2020

27 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020

See all articles by Nicolas Bueno

Nicolas Bueno

University of Zurich

Claire Bright

CEDIS - Nova School of Law; The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)

Date Written: September 8, 2020

Abstract

Since the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the relationship between human rights due diligence (HRDD) and corporate liability has been a source of legal uncertainty. In order to clarify this relationship, this article compares and contrasts civil liability provisions aiming at implementing HRDD. It explains the legal liability mechanisms in the draft Treaty on Business and Human Rights and in domestic mandatory HRDD legislation and initiatives such as the French Duty of Vigilance Law and the Swiss Responsible Business Initiative. It compares these developments with the emerging case law on parent company and supply chain liability for human rights abuses. It explores the potentially perverse effects that certain civil liability provisions and court decisions might have on companies’ practices. Finally, it makes recommendations for the design of effective liability mechanisms to implement HRDD.

Keywords: Human Rights, Business and Human Rights, Human Rights Due Diligence, Legal Liability, Mandatory Due Diligence Legislation, Parent Company Liability, Supply Chain Liability, Treaty on Business and Human Rights

Suggested Citation

Bueno, Nicolas and Bright, Claire, Implementing Human Rights Due Diligence Through Corporate Civil Liability (September 8, 2020). International & Comparative Law Quarterly, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3689241 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3689241

Nicolas Bueno (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Claire Bright

CEDIS - Nova School of Law ( email )

Portugal

The British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL) ( email )

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

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