Mandatory due diligence trends in Europe: Promises, possibilities and pitfalls

Ben Grama*, Lottie Lane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formWeb publication/siteOther research output


Following the endorsement of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), human rights due diligence (HRDD) was established as the preeminent standard by which companies approach adverse human rights impacts resulting from their activities. Until recently companies that carry out HRDD have done so voluntarily against the backdrop of non-legal, incentive-based initiatives which promote HRDD. Now, there is a growing push towards legal measures, at various levels, to make HRDD mandatory. Mandatory due diligence (mHRDD) refers to a legal mechanism which imposes a “legal standard of care” where businesses would be legally mandated to take reasonable action [due diligence] to prevent adverse impacts on human rights and the environment.

On 1 July 2020, as part of the Netherlands Network for Human Rights Research (NNHRR) Annual Toogdag, the Business and Human Rights Working Group arranged an online event with a panel of academic experts to discuss the growing trend towards mHRDD. In particular, the panel discussed two legislative initiatives currently underway in Europe, at the EU level and Swiss level. The panel consisted of Ms Lise Smit (Senior Research Fellow, British Institute of International and Comparative Law), Dr Ekaterina Aristova (Postdoctoral Fellow, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford) and Dr Nicolas Bueno (Senior lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Zurich), moderated by Dr Chiara Macchi (Postdoctoral Researcher, Wageningen University; Co-Chair, NNHRR Business and Human Rights Working Group). This blog will discuss several takeaways from the three presentations and the Q & A session with the audience from the authors’ perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Place of Publication
PublisherAsser Institute
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2020


  • human rights
  • due diligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Mandatory due diligence trends in Europe: Promises, possibilities and pitfalls'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this