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Sherpa publishes critical analysis on potential creation of public authority to enforce French Duty of Vigilance Law

"Creating a Public Authority to Enforce the Duty of Vigilance Law: A Step Backward?", 10 May 2021

Almost four years after its adoption, the provisions of the French Duty of Vigilance Law are not respected by many companies, leading some to call for the creation of a dedicated supervisory authority.

The creation of a monitoring, controlling and/or sanctioning authority would therefore require a revision of the DV Law or at least, depending on its attributions, the adoption of an administrative decree...

The creation of such an authority is also one of the recommendations of the Resolution on human rights and environmental due diligence and corporate accountability, adopted by the European Parliament on 10 March 2021 (the EP Resolution).

However, the creation of such an authority is not self-evident. Rather, the experience of existing administrative authorities indicates that, far from guaranteeing better implementation of the DV Law, the creation of an authority may distort the duty of vigilance – turning it into a compliance exercise and allowing companies to avoid liability (1). To strengthen the implementation of the duty of vigilance, it seems preferable to reinforce existing liability mechanisms (2).

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