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Removal of barriers to access to justice in the European Union. Executive summary

Author: Human Rights in Business, Published on: 1 September 2016

...Part I addresses the jurisdictional challenges that third-country victims of human rights abuses committed by EU-based multinational companies (MNCs) face in seeking redress in EU Member State courts...The allocation of jurisdiction in transnational tort litigations against MNCs in the European Union is discussed and compared with the United States...Part I offers some recommendations how jurisdictional challenges can be addressed.  Part II addresses the issues concerning applicable law. It thus deals with the question under what circumstances the national rules of tort law of the EU Member States would be applied in foreign direct liability cases brought before EU Member State courts...In addition, it also addresses some of the main practical and procedural barriers...Part III addresses the effectiveness of non-judicial remedies, in particular, company-based grievance mechanisms and international arbitration...The effectiveness of each mechanism is evaluated based on criteria established by the UN Guiding Principles: legitimacy, accessibility, predictability, equitability, transparency, rights-compatibility, a source of continuous learning, and engagement and dialogue. Part IV deals with the intersection of corporate responsibility to respect human rights and European tort law in the context of complex corporate structures and business relationships...

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