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Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation - Options for the EU

24-04-2020

The European Parliament (EP) has repeatedly underlined the need for stronger European requirements for companies to prevent human rights abuses and environmental harm and to provide access to remedies for victims. The debate — both in the EU institutions and in several Member States — has intensified surrounding due diligence obligations for companies throughout the supply chain. In this context, the EP Human Rights Subcommittee (DROI) requested two briefings on specific human rights related issues ...

The European Parliament (EP) has repeatedly underlined the need for stronger European requirements for companies to prevent human rights abuses and environmental harm and to provide access to remedies for victims. The debate — both in the EU institutions and in several Member States — has intensified surrounding due diligence obligations for companies throughout the supply chain. In this context, the EP Human Rights Subcommittee (DROI) requested two briefings on specific human rights related issues it should consider while preparing its position. The first briefing in this compilation addresses substantive elements, such as the type and scope of human rights violations to be covered, as well as the type of companies that could be subject to a future EU regulation. The second briefing discusses options for monitoring and enforcement of due diligence obligations, as well as different ways to ensure access to justice for victims of human rights abuses. The briefings offer a concise overview and concrete recommendations, contributing to the ongoing debate and taking into account the research undertaken on behalf of the European Commission.

Externe Autor

Prof. Dr. Markus KRAJEWSKI, Beata FARACIK, Claire METHVEN O’BRIEN, Olga MARTIN-ORTEGA

Substantive Elements of Potential Legislation on Human Rights Due Diligence

24-04-2020

This briefing provides an overview of the existing legislative approaches to mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and proposals by non-state actors, concerning the scope of potential European Union (EU) legislation on binding human rights due diligence (HRDD) obligations for companies. The briefing discusses key substantive elements of potential EU HRDD legislation including options for human rights covered by the due diligence requirement; types of violations; specific references regarding women ...

This briefing provides an overview of the existing legislative approaches to mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence and proposals by non-state actors, concerning the scope of potential European Union (EU) legislation on binding human rights due diligence (HRDD) obligations for companies. The briefing discusses key substantive elements of potential EU HRDD legislation including options for human rights covered by the due diligence requirement; types of violations; specific references regarding women and persons in vulnerable situations and the duties of companies to respect and protect human rights. It is recommended that a potential EU HRDD legislation should comprise all human rights and cover all types of violations. The legislation should refer to additional duties, which can be based on existing human rights treaties and instruments such as CEDAW, CRC, CRPD and UNDRIP. The legislation should cover all companies independently of their size and take a non-sector specific approach. Furthermore, the legislation should not apply solely to the company’s own activities, but also to its business relations including the value chain. Finally, the legislation should adopt a substantive due diligence model and require companies to engage actively in analysing, mitigating and remedying any adverse impacts on human rights based on their own activities and connected to them in their business relations.

Externe Autor

Prof. Dr. Markus KRAJEWSKI, Beata FARACIK

EU Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation: Monitoring, Enforcement and Access to Justice for Victims

24-04-2020

This briefing explores options for monitoring and enforcement of European Union (EU) human rights due diligence legislation, and how such legislation should contribute to access to justice and remedy for victims of human rights abuses linked to the operations of businesses inside or operating from Member States (MS). The briefing reviews existing due diligence and disclosure schemes and considers the feasibility of specific options for monitoring, enforcement and access to remedy within a future ...

This briefing explores options for monitoring and enforcement of European Union (EU) human rights due diligence legislation, and how such legislation should contribute to access to justice and remedy for victims of human rights abuses linked to the operations of businesses inside or operating from Member States (MS). The briefing reviews existing due diligence and disclosure schemes and considers the feasibility of specific options for monitoring, enforcement and access to remedy within a future EU due diligence law. The briefing recommends that such legislation should require effective monitoring via company-level obligations, national and EU-level measures, including repositories of due diligence reports, lists of companies required to report, information request procedures, monitoring bodies and delegated legislation or guidance further elaborating on due diligence under the law. Regarding enforcement, the law should inter alia require MS to determine appropriate penalties for non-compliance and to establish enforcement rights for interested parties. Finally, on remedy, the law should, besides requiring companies to establish complaint mechanisms, provide for national and EU measures, including requirements that MS ensure effective means of remedy and redress for victims and establish or identify bodies to investigate abuses, initiate enforcement and support victims.

Externe Autor

Claire METHVEN O’BRIEN, Olga MARTIN-ORTEGA

The role of constitutional courts, a comparative law perspective - Canada: The Supreme Court

23-07-2019

This study is part of a wider project investigating, from a comparative law perspective, the role of constitutional courts of different states. Following a brief historical introduction to the jurisdiction of the state in question, the various reports examine the composition, internal organization, functioning, jurisdiction of the various highest courts, as well as the right of access to its courtroom, its procedural rules, and the effects and the execution of its judgments. The present study examines ...

This study is part of a wider project investigating, from a comparative law perspective, the role of constitutional courts of different states. Following a brief historical introduction to the jurisdiction of the state in question, the various reports examine the composition, internal organization, functioning, jurisdiction of the various highest courts, as well as the right of access to its courtroom, its procedural rules, and the effects and the execution of its judgments. The present study examines Canada’s highest court, the Supreme Court. While all judicial courts may rule on constitutional matters, the Supreme Court of Canada enjoys a privileged status in the Canadian legal landscape. As the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution, it has the final word with respect to constitutional interpretation, notably in constitutional matters. It thus plays a central role in Canada’s federal democracy.

Externe Autor

EPRS, Comparative Law

Access to legal remedies for victims of corporate human rights abuses in third countries

01-02-2019

European-based multinational corporations can cause or be complicit in human rights abuses in third countries. Victims of corporate human rights abuses frequently face many hurdles when attempting to hold corporations to account in their own country. Against this backdrop, judicial mechanisms have increasingly been relied on to bring legal proceedings in the home States of the corporations. This study attempts to map out all relevant cases (35 in total) filed in Member States of the European Union ...

European-based multinational corporations can cause or be complicit in human rights abuses in third countries. Victims of corporate human rights abuses frequently face many hurdles when attempting to hold corporations to account in their own country. Against this backdrop, judicial mechanisms have increasingly been relied on to bring legal proceedings in the home States of the corporations. This study attempts to map out all relevant cases (35 in total) filed in Member States of the European Union on the basis of alleged corporate human rights abuses in third countries. It also provides an in-depth analysis of 12 cases and identifies various obstacles (legal, procedural and practical) faced by claimants in accessing legal remedy. On the basis of these findings, it makes a number of recommendations to the EU institutions in order to improve access to legal remedies in the EU for victims of human rights abuses by European based companies in third countries.

Externe Autor

Dr. Axel Marx, Dr. Claire Bright, Prof. Dr. Jan Wouters, Ms. Nina Pineau, Mr. Brecht Lein, Mr. Torbjörn Schiebe, Ms. Johanna Wagner, Ms. Evelien Wauter

A Ten-Year-Long “EU Mediation Paradox”- When an EU Directive Needs To Be More …Directive

21-11-2018

Ten years since its adoption, the EU Mediation Directive remains very far from reaching its stated goals. This briefing summarises the main achievements and failures in the implementation at national level. In addition, it assesses the conclusions of previous research and of the European Parliament's resolution on the implmentation of the Mediation Directive.

Ten years since its adoption, the EU Mediation Directive remains very far from reaching its stated goals. This briefing summarises the main achievements and failures in the implementation at national level. In addition, it assesses the conclusions of previous research and of the European Parliament's resolution on the implmentation of the Mediation Directive.

Externe Autor

Giuseppe De Palo, Professor of Alternative Dispute Resolution Law and Practice at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St Paul, U.S.A

Modernising judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters: Implementation Appraisal

15-05-2018

The regulation on the service of documents and the regulation on taking of evidence are key instruments in the facilitation of cross-border cooperation between national civil courts. They have contributed to the effectiveness of cross-border litigation before civil and commercial courts by making civil proceedings in cross-border cases simpler, faster and cheaper. However, digitalisation and the use of electronic means of communication could boost their efficiency. This is why the European Commission ...

The regulation on the service of documents and the regulation on taking of evidence are key instruments in the facilitation of cross-border cooperation between national civil courts. They have contributed to the effectiveness of cross-border litigation before civil and commercial courts by making civil proceedings in cross-border cases simpler, faster and cheaper. However, digitalisation and the use of electronic means of communication could boost their efficiency. This is why the European Commission is aiming to align the two instruments with the e-government objectives of the digital single market strategy. The Commission's review process has also brought to light some other shortcomings in the application of the two regulations, such as uncertainties regarding their scope and issues relating to the protection of the rights of the defence. Current disparities in the procedural laws of the Member States lead to legal uncertainties in the application of the regulations. The Commission is seeking ways to modernise judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, and in particular Regulations 1393/2007/EC and 1206/2001/EC. To that end, it is currently undertaking a combined evaluation and impact assessment for both regulations at once.

HAAGER KONFERENZ FÜR INTERNATIONALES PRIVATRECHT „ANERKENNUNGS- UND VOLLSTRECKUNGS-ÜBEREINKOMMEN“

16-04-2018

Diese von der Fachabteilung für Bürgerrechte und konstitutionelle Angelegenheiten des Europäischen Parlaments auf Anforderung des JURIAusschlusses in Auftrag gegebene Studie enthält eine Einschätzung der laufenden Arbeit der Haager Konferenz zum Anerkennungs- und Vollstreckungsübereinkommen. Die Analyse konzentriert sich auf den Entwurf des Übereinkommens von November 2017, sein Zusammenspiel mit internationalen Rechtsakten und Rechtsakten der Union in diesem Bereich und den möglichen Auswirkungen ...

Diese von der Fachabteilung für Bürgerrechte und konstitutionelle Angelegenheiten des Europäischen Parlaments auf Anforderung des JURIAusschlusses in Auftrag gegebene Studie enthält eine Einschätzung der laufenden Arbeit der Haager Konferenz zum Anerkennungs- und Vollstreckungsübereinkommen. Die Analyse konzentriert sich auf den Entwurf des Übereinkommens von November 2017, sein Zusammenspiel mit internationalen Rechtsakten und Rechtsakten der Union in diesem Bereich und den möglichen Auswirkungen, die es in Zukunft auf die Vorschriften zu Streitsachen mit grenzüberschreitendem Bezug in Zivil- und Handelssachen haben könnte.

Externe Autor

Pedro A. DE MIGUEL ASENSIO (coord.), Professor, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain Gilles CUNIBERTI, Professor, University of Luxembourg Pietro FRANZINA, Professor, University of Ferrara, Italy Christian HEINZE, Professor, Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany Marta REQUEJO ISIDRO, Senior Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute Luxembourg

The Victims' Rights Directive 2012/29/EU

14-12-2017

Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards for the rights, support and protection of victims of crime is an instrument of harmonisation that sets basic standards to be applied across the EU. It makes important procedural provisions regarding, for instance, the right to be heard, to understand and be understood, and the right to receive information, make a complaint and access support services. This study assesses the implementation of the directive and various aspects of its application: ...

Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards for the rights, support and protection of victims of crime is an instrument of harmonisation that sets basic standards to be applied across the EU. It makes important procedural provisions regarding, for instance, the right to be heard, to understand and be understood, and the right to receive information, make a complaint and access support services. This study assesses the implementation of the directive and various aspects of its application: legal transposition measures at Member State level, the practical implementation of the directive on the ground, and the benefits it has provided for victims, as well as the challenges encountered.

Externe Autor

The opening analysis of the study (Part I) has been prepared by Amandine Scherrer and Ivana Kiendl Krišto (EPRS, EVAL Unit) . Part II of the study was prepared by the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services LLP (CSES).

Effective access to justice

15-11-2017

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by PETI Committee, aims to identify and understand the issues affecting effective access to justice raised by the EU citizens and residents in some Member States with the main aim to frame the analysis and obtain a fair representation of recurring issues pertaining to access to justice across the EU. It seeks to understand why citizens have turned to the EU institutions ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by PETI Committee, aims to identify and understand the issues affecting effective access to justice raised by the EU citizens and residents in some Member States with the main aim to frame the analysis and obtain a fair representation of recurring issues pertaining to access to justice across the EU. It seeks to understand why citizens have turned to the EU institutions to seek access to justice, and looks at a large range of factors, including legal and procedural issues as well as practical, social, historical and political factors that underpin the issues raised in these petitions. More broadly, the study intends to assess the relevance of the petitions system to address access to justice issues experienced by citizens at national level.

Externe Autor

Ms Nathy Rass-Masson, Ms Virginie Rouas (Milieu)

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