CYIL vol. 11 (2020)

ALLA TYMOFEYEVA CYIL 11 (2020) By this, the victims stressed the responsibility of states to protect human rights as well as a duty for business entities to also respect human rights, e.g. those under the UDHR. The Human Rights Committee responded that the authors had not provided it with sufficient information concerning the extent to which Canada may possibly be considered responsible as a result of a failure to exercise reasonable due diligence over the relevant extraterritorial activities of the two corporations involved. 58 According to the CCPR, such information may well involve existing regulations in place governing the corporations’ activities, the state party’s capacity to effectively regulate the activities at issue, and the specific nature of the corporations’ role in the construction of the settlement as well as the impact of their actions on the rights of the authors. Because of this, the corresponding part of the submission was declared inadmissible. However, this case demonstrates that the CCPR is ready to accept the idea of corporate responsibility for human rights breaches. Moreover, in their concurring opinion, Olivier de Frouville and Yadh Ben Achour noted that the ICCPR does not exclude the states’ obligations in connection with the activities of businesses operating abroad. The important points here are the effective capacity of the state to regulate the activities of the businesses concerned and the actual knowledge of those activities. 59 Perhaps, because of the differences between the UN and the CoE systems and the relatively recent date of the UNGPs endorsement, currently the research in the HUDOC does not display any results on the subject-matter. The reference to the UNGPs in the case-law of the ECtHR, however, could appear in its judgments in the case of Cordella and Others v. Italy of 24 January 2019. 60 This case concerned on-going air pollution caused by emissions from the private company ILVA in Taranto and their effects on the environment and public health. At the workshop organised by the Interest Group on International Business and Human Rights within the frames of the 14th ESIL Annual Meeting on 13 September 2018 in Manchester, Roberta Greco, Professor of International Human Rights Law and Associate Attorney at Saccucci & Partners had a presentation titled the ILVA Case before the European Court of Human Rights: the State’s Duty to Protect vis-à-vis Companies’ Violations of Human Rights . 61 In this presentation, Professor Greco made reference to the UNGPs and the obligations of companies to respect human rights. It must be noted that the applicants in the case of Cordella were represented before the ECtHR by the law firm Saccucci & Partners. 62 Nonetheless, in the end, the judgment at issue does not contain any reference to the UNGPs and we can only speculate about possible indirect obligations of businesses to respect human rights set forth in the ECHR. 6. From a broader perspective, the future of the business entities’ status under the ECHR and UDHR may be strongly influenced by assessments of the two documents at issue. As stated above, the UDHR currently does not possess any enforcement mechanism, but there are on-going discussions pertaining to the establishment of an International or World Court 58 Ibid ., para 6.7. 59 Concurring opinion of Committee members Olivier de Frouville and Yadh Ben Achour in the case of Basem Ahmed Issa Yassin et. al., CCPR, Decision adopted by the Committee under article 5 (4) of the Optional Protocol, communication No. 2285/2013 of 7 December 2017, para. 10. 60 Cordella and Others v. Italy (App. nos. 54414/13 and 54264/15), ECtHR, Judgment of 24 January 2019. 61 See [visited on 5 March 2019]. 62 Cordella and Others v. Italy (App. nos. 54414/13 and 54264/15), ECtHR, Judgment of 24 January 2019, para. 3.


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