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Global Supply Chains & "Sustainable" Duty of Vigilance - 27 March 2023

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Trade globalization allowed for the development by large companies of economic activities all over the world, exploiting work force and natural resources in large scale value chains. Their social and environmental impacts are proportional in gravity and scope. Still, their activities are at the crossroads of jurisdictions and obligations, making them difficult to regulate.

New legal instruments are emerging to specify the responsibility of decision-makers in these chains. The French law on duty of care of 2017, and the EU Directive draft on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, for example, are attempts to adapt the principle of duty of vigilance (or duty of care) on sustainability issues. For some, it is a fundamental step forward in the way companies are held accountable and incorporating sustainability principles. For others, it is just one more in a series of failures of the law to ambitiously regulate global value chains.

The theme and questions were prepared and will be introduced by Clément Lasselin, visiting researcher at KCL

Discussion Questions:

  • How can large companies be held accountable for their unsustainable activities in global value chains?
  • Can the principle of duty of care be used to address sustainability issues?

Suggested Readings:

P. Minnerop, ‘Integrating the ‘duty of care’ under the European Convention on Human Rights and the science and law of climate change: the decision of The Hague Court of Appeal in the Urgenda case’ (2019) 37(2) Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law, pp. 149-179.

J. Salminen & M. Rajavuori, ‘Transnational sustainability laws and the regulation of global value chains: comparison and a framework for analysis’ (2019) 26(5) Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, pp. 602-627.

C. Terwindt et al., ‘Supply Chain Liability/ Pushing the Boundaries of the Common Law’ (2017) 8(3) Journal of European Tort Law, pp. 261-296.

At this event

Mara  Wendebourg

Mara Wendebourg

PhD student

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