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21 Oct 2016

Nadia Bernaz, Middlesex University School of Law, on RightsasUsual

France: Unpacking the Bill on corporate due diligence

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"Unpacking the French Bill on Corporate Due Diligence: a presentation at the International Business and Human Rights Conference in Sevilla", 21 Oct 2016

...In 2015, a group of [French] Parliamentarians introduced an ambitious bill on corporate due diligence...

...In March 2016, the Assemblée Nationale adopted bill #2 again during the second reading of the bill. Following French law making procedure, he bill was sent again to the Senate. On 13 October 2016, the Senate adopted a modified version of the bill, bill #3.

The Senate has transformed a bill that was supposed to enhance corporate legal liability into a bill which main aim is to transpose the EU directive on non-financial reporting. The bill is now about producing a report, and it includes the possibility to force companies to do it but crucially there is nothing about damages and victims of human rights violations... In short, the core aspect of the bill, corporate liability for human rights violations, is gone.

We're now in a situation where the Senate and the Assemblée Nationale are in disagreement since they each adopted a different version of the bill (bill #2 in the Assemblée Nationale, bill #3 in the Senate)...[A] special parliamentary committee made of members of both chambers to try to find a compromise [has now to be set up]...