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24 Apr 2018

Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice

Switzerland: Legal Affairs Committee proposes indirect counter-proposal to responsible business initiative

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"Legal Affairs Committee proposes indirect counter-proposal", 20 April 2018

[T]he Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council proposes legal measures against human rights violations and non-compliance with international environmental standards by corporations based in Switzerland...

The Initiative Committee and the strategic bodies of the Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice examined the original counter-proposal of Karl Vogler (CSP/OW and member of the National Council) closely prior to the meeting of the Committee. Compared to the initiative, the original proposal is weaker...: the new regulation would apply to fewer companies and civil liability would be restricted in a number of ways...

Despite these severe restrictions, the Initiative Committee announced to the Legal Affairs Committee that the adoption of an unchanged version of this proposal would result in the withdrawal of the popular initiative. This proposal was also supported by the Groupement des Entreprises Multinationales (GEM)... But now the Committee has further weakened Karl Vogler’s proposal... The Committee also announced that it might review the counter-proposal once again in a forthcoming meeting...

[I]t remains to be seen whether a counter-proposal will lead to a withdrawal of the initiative and if the Federal Assembly will adopt it.