EU law on business and human rights

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims at - Analyzing the European and international legal framework on business and human rights; - Analyzing the relevant European, international and domestic case law; - Examining access to remedies in B&HR cases in the US and the EU; - Examining the relevant European framework on private international law; - Applying the examined legal tools to the solution of case studies; - Developing critical analysis of B&HR-connected legal issues.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students should: - Have a deep knowledge of the legal framework on EU Law on Business and Human Rights - Be able to make autonomous evaluation of B&HR-connected legal issues - Have developed the skills to apply the acquired knowledge to practical cases, disputes, corporate strategies, decision-making processes - Have developed the related problem-solving skills
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
Transnational business activities can have an impact on the enjoyment of the entire spectrum of the internationally recognized human rights. Corporate violations of fundamental rights (such as the rights to health and life), the core labour standards, and the rights of minorities, including indigenous peoples, have led to important legal disputes. These cases demonstrate the need to strike a balance between economic development, on the one hand, and the implementation of sustainable development and the protection of human and labour rights and the environment, on the other hand. The course focuses on the main international and European legal instruments regulating the activities of multinational corporations, the most relevant legal disputes, and the innovative solutions currently under negotiation within the EU and the United Nations.

Detailed programme
- The international legal framework on business and human rights (B&HR)
- The State duty to protect human rights, with a focus on the European Convention on Human Rights
- Corporate responsibility to respect human rights and human rights due diligence
- Corporate social responsibility vs. human rights due diligence
- Access to remedies: the EU and the US perspective
- The attribution of jurisdiction and the applicable law in B&HR disputes: private international legal issues
- Climate change litigation
- The European draft directive on HRDD
- The ongoing negotiation of a binding treaty on B&HR.
Prerequisites for admission
A knowledge of international law is recommended.
Teaching methods
The course combines traditional lectures with more interactive activities (such as case-studies and mock trials). Practitioners and experts will be invited as speakers and will give insights about their professional experience in the field. Attendance is mandatory (75%). The working language is English.
Teaching Resources
TEXTBOOK: Bonfanti (ed.), Business and Human Rights in Europe. International Law Challenges, Routledge, 2019.
READINGS: mandatory/suggested readings will be listed or uploaded on ARIEL. A detailed syllabus will be uploaded on ARIEL at the beginning of the course.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam can be taken either through partial assessments during the course (oral and written tests, solution of case-studies) or one oral overall exam at the end of the course.
IUS/13 - INTERNATIONAL LAW - University credits: 6
Lessons: 42 hours
Professor: Bonfanti Angelica
Educational website(s)
Tuesday from 15 to 17
Department of Italian and Supranational Public Law - because of coronavirus emergency, office hours are online- please contact Prof. Bonfanti by email