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Regards croisés sur le devoir de vigilance et le duty of care

The adoption, on 27 March 2017, of the new French law on Duty of vigilance (Devoir de vigilance) for parent corporations, principal contractors and purchasers prompts us to examine this major evolution in the liability of mutinational enterprises in a broad global perspective that reflects the powerful role played by these firms in the process of globalization...

The establishment in France of a duty of vigilance requiring large corporations to prevent and remediate human rights, environmental, health and safety risks has a strong resonance with the progressive expansion of the duty of care in court cases from the UK and Canada. Both bodies of law show a tendency to “ harden ” the legal liabilities of multinational corporations throughout their global supply chains...

There remain uncertainties concerning [the duty of vigilance]. With these questions up in the air, we suggest that it is desirable for the French duty of vigilance and the common law duty of care to evolve in parallel, and continuously, so that corporations develop compatible policies and measures that apply consistently to all the territories and countries where they operate.

To answer the rising challenges of economic globalisation, we suggest that the world will benefit from a matching process of legal globalisation that will encourage the development of an international body of law that reinforces progressively a regime of corporate liability.

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Venue: Doughty Street Chambers, 54 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LS
Venue: Doughty Street Chambers, 53-54 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LS