Comprehensive Commentary on Supply Chain Due Diligence Act

March 28, 2023

The Gesetz über die unternehmerischen Sorgfaltspflichten (Supply chain due diligence act) took effect on 1 January 2023. In light of debates about corporate responsibility for human rights, the law leaves many legal issues unresolved. A working group under Institute director Holger Fleischer, of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law, contributed a substantial portion of the material for a comprehensive commentary that explains the new regulatory framework and suggests ways to resolve open questions.

How can public international law be made to apply to private corporations? What should a sanctions regime look like? What state’s law should apply to claims of liability in international supply chains? What court has jurisdiction? The act combines many different strands of law, and this comprehensive scholarly commentary provides needed orientation at various levels. Commentary on individual statutory provisions is preceded by three extensive introductory chapters that characterize the emerging field of supply chain law as difficult, multifaceted, and cutting across specialties. The law is also examined from a comparative perspective. The book is therefore not only a commentary but also a handbook.

Fleischer’s working group is doing longitudinal research on questions that originally stem from the debate about corporate social responsibility, a broad field, out of which grew the narrower topic of human rights and the economy. The latter now constitutes a distinct field of inquiry in its own right. The project behind the writing of this commentary has done years of prior research, and those efforts could already be seen in multiple specialist articles.

Besides Fleischer, who is also the volume’s editor, the authors include Claas-Lennart Götz, Philipp Alexander Hülse, Christian Kolb, Stefan Korch, and Christian Stemberg, all of whom work at the Institute and each of whom contributed individual commentaries. The work was a joint project with Peter Mankowski, who until his sudden death on 10 February 2022 chaired the civil law, private international law, comparative law, and international civil procedure department at the University of Hamburg. His staff are also contributors. Mankowski is named posthumously as co-editor of the commentary.

Holger Fleischer, Peter Mankowski (eds.), Kommentar zum Gesetz über die unternehmerischen Sorgfaltspflichten zur Vermeidung von Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Lieferketten (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz), C.H. Beck, München 2023, XXV + 691 pp.

Image: © Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

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