Students Cohorts

Margherita Criveller

 202109281117th photo phd

Cohort: ESOL 37°

Topic of the thesis: The application of mandatory human rights due diligence in global value chains and the role of NGOs in strategic litigations

Abstract: On 10 March 2021, in the footsteps of the French law of 2017, the European Parliament adopted a resolution setting out recommendations to the European Commission on corporate due diligence and accountability, including a draft directive. A legislative initiative on mandatory human rights due diligence for companies at the Community level confirms the urgency of a legislative harmonization of standards for EU Member States. Territorial and national labor laws are not adequate anymore to govern the process of globalization. The scope of the draft directive is to ensure better governance within global value chains (GVC), enforce the accountability for labour rights abuses and guarantee effective access to remedies for the victims, especially from third-country nations. The research aims to demonstrate that the effectiveness of laws on mandatory human rights due diligence is tightly linked to the role played by collective actors, most notably “labour” NGOs, because they guarantee effective access to justice to victims coming from disadvantaged conditions that otherwise would not be able to face a trial in Europe. Strengthening collective action will be the only way to rebalance inequalities and the power exercised by transnational corporations. The French and German laws on the Duty of vigilance will be studied in-depth and compared. The aim of the comparative study is to explain the different extra-territorial obligations and liability regimes that these impose on multinational corporations headquartered in their States or conducting business there. This research will further study recommended amendments to Brussels I Recast Regulation (to enforce the doctrine of forum necessitatis) and Rome II Regulation (proposed art. 6a). The study will provide an in-depth analysis of relevant cases brought before French and German courts by NGOs. Cases will be selected following these criteria: the complaint has been filled by an NGO; they are discussed in a court that may enforce a national due diligence law; OECD National Contact Points are involved. For what concerns ongoing cases, will be analyzed the following ones: Sherpa v. VINCI; Sherpa and the Ethique v. Inditex, Uniqlo, SMCP and Skechers; ActionAid France’s and Sherpa v. Samsung France; Uni Global and Sherpa v. Teleperformance; Misereor and Sherpa v. SOCAPALM. 
Data will be gathered using primary and secondary sources: interviews will be carried out with people involved in the case (both claimants and defendants, as well as NGOs responsible). These interviews will inform the research about barriers and opportunities to access justice and remedies. Court decisions, press releases, and NGO reports will be consulted as secondary sources. Hereafter, the study will proceed by mapping the advantages and shortcomings of German and French laws to effectively make multinational corporations liable for their impacts. Subsequently will be studied the structural obstacles for victims to have access to collective or representative actions. 

Research interests: Multi-level legal systems; International and comparative Labor Law; Inequalities and discrimination in the global labour market; Economic and social regulation of global workforce.

Graduated from: Università Ca' Foscari di Venezia (BA); Università degli Studi di Milano (MA).

Degrees obtained: BA in History; MA in Global Politics and Society.

E-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

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