Although adopted a decade earlier than the Guiding Principles and with completely different purposes, Legislative Decree n. 231/2001 is the most relevant Italian legislation on Business and Human Rights. Indeed, it encourages companies to implement their own due diligence processes and compliance systems aimed at preventing the commission of a wide range of crimes, including both specific human rights violations and serious environmental crimes.
The compliance system created by L.D. No. 231/2001, together with the rules of corporate liability and sanctions associated with it, make this Decree an example of legislation that in our opinion can serve as a source of inspiration for the current process concerning the adoption of European legislation on HRDD. The objective of this analysis is to illustrate the due diligence process and the liability regime of legal persons introduced by Legislative Decree no. 231/2001, highlighting the points of contact with the UN Guiding Principles, as well as to examine the relevant case-law, with a view to contributing to the current debate on mandatory HRDD and further legislative developments in this regard.
The document, only available in Italian, is largely the translation, updated and adapted to the Italian context, of the document entitled "ITALIAN LEGISLATIVE DECREE No. 231/2001: A model for Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation?" drafted by HRIC, FIDH and ECCJ with the financial support of Bread for the World and already available at our website.