Swiss Referendum on Implementing Supply Chain Liability

a post by guest blogger Penelope Bergkamp

Following a clear trend, Switzerland is now also considering proposals to hold  Swiss companies liable for environmental damage and human rights violations in their supply chains. Possibly inspired by the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law, the Swiss Coalition for Corporate Justice (SCCJ) launched the Responsible Business Initiative (“RBI”) in 2015. The RBI involves a citizens’ petition to amend the Swiss Federal Constitution to impose “appropriate due diligence” obligations on Swiss companies in  accordance with  their responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles, along with liability for breaches by their subsidiaries. In response to the RBI, the Swiss Senate adopted a somewhat narrower, less ambitious proposal. Pursuant to Article 139 of the Federal Constitution, the Swiss people will be asked to vote on the RBI in a popular referendum

This post discusses the RBI and highlights the key differences between the RBI and the Senate proposal. First, the background to the RBI proposal is briefly reviewed. I will then turn to the procedural and substantive provisions of the RBI. Finally, the international private law aspects of the proposal will be analyzed. Continue reading “Swiss Referendum on Implementing Supply Chain Liability”

Heremans Lectures 2018: “Judicial Analytics and The Great Transformation of American Law” – Professor Daniel Chen (Toulouse School of Economics) at KU Leuven

Opening Lecture of the Heremans Lectures 2018 on 26 March 2018 (11 am)

The 2018 Heremans Lectures in Law & Economics at KU Leuven will be delivered by Professor Daniel Chen of the Toulouse School of Economics. The lectures will investigate a set of ideas related to legitimacy in law, how to formalize recognition-respect theory, and what it means for legal institutions, actors, and judges to be indifferent, such that it violates our notion of justice. The lectures will investigate how economic theory, experiments, causal inference, and machine learning can shed light on these issues.

The Inaugural Lecture will take place on 26 March 2018 at 11:00 am in the University Halls at Naamsestraat 22, 3000 Leuven, Belgium and is titled:

Judicial Analytics and The Great Transformation of American Law

Continue reading “Heremans Lectures 2018: “Judicial Analytics and The Great Transformation of American Law” – Professor Daniel Chen (Toulouse School of Economics) at KU Leuven”

Insolvency proceedings and human rights

In its judgment of 11 January 2018 in the case of Cipolletta v. Italy, the European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time) of the European Convention on Human Rights and a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy). Continue reading “Insolvency proceedings and human rights”

Lost in translation? The case of ‘trust insolvency’

A ‘hybrid mismatch’ in private law?

In a previous blogpost, we formulated some thoughts on the CJEU’s judgment in the Panayi Trust Case. We concluded that, for various reasons, it could reasonably be expected that trusts can indeed be considered to be ‘entities’ which can come under the scope of the freedom of establishment.

The importance of language

Apart from this conclusion, the different language versions of the CJEU’s judgment, and especially a comparison thereof, make for an interesting reading.  Continue reading “Lost in translation? The case of ‘trust insolvency’”

The Anatomy of Corporate Law (Third Edition) – Book Review

Cover for 

The Anatomy of Corporate Law

A previous blogpost already announced the publication of the third edition of “The Anatomy of Corporate Law”. The first chapter of the book can be read here. This blogpost reviews The Anatomy in more detail. A Dutch version of this review was published in “Tijdschrift voor Privaatrecht” (TPR).

The Anatomy of Corporate Law is, without a doubt, one of the most important works in the comparative and economic analysis of corporate law.
The Anatomy studies almost all of the important topics in corporate law, ranging from the basic governance structure to takeovers and securities regulation. It should be mandatory reading for corporate law scholars all over the world and can serve as an excellent basis for teaching comparative corporate law to students. Continue reading “The Anatomy of Corporate Law (Third Edition) – Book Review”

ECJ on Article 1(2)(b) of the Brussels I Recast Regulation: Actions for Liability in Tort in Insolvency Proceedings

Another Attempt to Create Order out of Chaos

In its preliminary ruling of 20 December 2017, the ECJ held that Article 1(2)(b) of the Brussels I Recast Regulation (which excludes certain insolvency proceedings from its scope of application) must be interpreted as meaning that it applies to an action for liability in tort brought against the members of a committee of creditors (hereinafter referred to as “CoC”) because of their conduct in voting on a restructuring plan in insolvency proceedings. Such an action is therefore excluded from the scope ratione materiae of the Brussels I Recast, and hence falls within the scope of Article 3(1) of the (old) Insolvency Regulation. Consequently, the competent court is the one which opened the insolvency procedure.


The facts of the case can be summarized as follows. VAV invest, a company incorporated under Slovak law whose assets were the subject of restructuring proceedings in Slovakia, submitted a restructuring plan. At its meeting, the CoC rejected the plan without providing any comprehensible reasons, which led to the frustration of the restructuring proceedings and the winding-up of VAV invest. Continue reading “ECJ on Article 1(2)(b) of the Brussels I Recast Regulation: Actions for Liability in Tort in Insolvency Proceedings”

The AkzoNobel Case: An Activist Shareholder’s Battle against the Backdrop of the Shareholder Rights Directive

Article in European Company Law

In two earlier blogposts on this blog (here and here), I commented (together with Thom Wetzer for the first post) on the two recent decisions of the Dutch courts in the AkzoNobel case. In a recently published article in the journal “European Company Law”, I further develop my arguments about this case. Continue reading “The AkzoNobel Case: An Activist Shareholder’s Battle against the Backdrop of the Shareholder Rights Directive”