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14 Jun 2021

European Coalition for Corporate Justice

Norwegian parliament adopts the Transparency Act

Last Thursday, the Norwegian parliament adopted the Transparency Act, obliging large and mid-size companies to conduct human rights and decent work due diligence not only throughout their supply chain, but throughout all business relationships in their value chain.

Whilst the law creates a corporate duty to conduct due diligence with respect to human rights and decent work, it unfortunately leaves out environmental considerations. However, Parliament may reassess this point in the upcoming evaluation of the law.

Under this law, citizens will be entitled to request information from companies, and the Norwegian consumer authority may issue injunctions and fines for non-compliance, but victims of human rights abuses will regrettably still not have the right to seek remedy in court.

Companies are required to provide or cooperate to ensure remedy, but the law does not provide for civil liability for harm, falling short of the latest legislative and judicial developments in this field.

Integrating environmental aspects and granting access to justice for victims of corporate abuse are two crucial outstanding tasks for the Norwegian legislator. The European Commission is expected to address them under its Sustainable Corporate Governance initiative, as demanded by an overwhelming majority of respondents to the relevant public consultation.