Towards a German Supply Chain Act? Comments from a Choice of Law and a Comparative Perspective
European Yearbook of International Economic Law (2021 Forthcoming)
24 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2020
Date Written: October 9, 2020
The protection of human rights in global supply chains has become one of the most hotly debated issues in public and private (international) law. In a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands, these debates have led to the introduction of domestic human rights legislation. In other countries reform plans are under way. In Germany, for example, the federal government recently announced plans to adopt a German Supply Chain Act, which, if passed as suggested, will introduce both mandatory human rights due diligence obligations and mandatory corporate liability provisions. The following article takes this announcement as an opportunity to look at the idea of a German Supply Chain Act from both a choice of law and a comparative perspective. It argues that that any such Act will necessarily be limited in both its spatial and in its substantive reach and, therefore, recommends that Germany refrains from passing national legislation – and supports the adoption of a European instrument instead.
Keywords: Human rights, Supply chain, choice of law, Rome II Regulation, place of injury, overriding mandatory provisions, Loi de vigilance, human rights due diligence
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