From Social to Legal Responsibility:The Rise of Due Diligence Laws and their Limits

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2023-20

Extended Version forthcoming in the Austrian Review of International and European Law under Mateja S. Platise, ‘Traditional Legal Concepts under Fire? Business and Human Rights at the International, EU and National Levels’

25 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2023 Last revised: 25 Oct 2023

See all articles by Mateja Steinbrück Platise

Mateja Steinbrück Platise

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Date Written: October 10, 2023

Abstract

Over the past decade, business actors, in particular transnational corporations, have been increasingly called to respect human rights and environmental standards in their own operations and in their supply chains. However, the idea of legally obliging companies to respect human rights throughout their supply chains requires legal changes at international, EU and national levels that have proved hard to achieve. A common explanation for the slow progress in these areas is the strong lobbying of global economic players who successfully obstruct the necessary legal reforms. Conversely, the present contribution builds on the premise that one of the reasons for the slow progress in adopting the necessary legal reforms is that imposing such obligations on companies may challenge certain traditional legal concepts of international law, as well as the public, civil and criminal laws of many, if not most, countries around the world, and critically examines the response of different legal systems to these legal challenges.

Keywords: transnational corporations (TNC), human rights, supply chains, due diligence, state jurisdiction, United Nations (UN), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European Union (EU)

Suggested Citation

Steinbrück Platise, Mateja, From Social to Legal Responsibility:The Rise of Due Diligence Laws and their Limits (October 10, 2023). Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2023-20, Extended Version forthcoming in the Austrian Review of International and European Law under Mateja S. Platise, ‘Traditional Legal Concepts under Fire? Business and Human Rights at the International, EU and National Levels’ , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4597829

Mateja Steinbrück Platise (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law ( email )

Im Neuenheimer Feld 535
69120 Heidelberg, 69120
Germany

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