The Proposed European Union Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive Making or breaking European Human Rights Law?

Claire Methven O'Brien, Jonas Christoffersen

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Abstract

The Proposal for a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (EU) 2019/1937, COM/2022/71 final, 23 February 2022, ‘CSDDD’)if enacted, would extend responsibilities, liability and exposure to administrative penalties to large economic actors for failure to comply withhuman rights and environmental obligations. The main purpose of this proposal is to establish a binding set of legal norms to increase access to legal enforcement by linking a breach of the due diligence obligation to public sanctions (Article 20) and civil liability. However, as we analyse in this article, the proposal would significantly limit the scope and content of companies' due diligence as compared to the process foreseen by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to which it seeks to give greater effect, while limiting the rights to be protected, and the class of companies obliged to exercise due diligence. At the same time,as we explain,the proposed Directive may jeopardize the integrity of European human rights law as articulated by the judicial and other organs of the Council of Europe, and at the national level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-201
Number of pages25
JournalAnales de Derecho
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • due diligence
  • human rights
  • European Union

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