Maria Kennedy (UK)

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UK Government releases final Report on Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

On 22 May 2019, the UK Government presented to Parliament its final Report following the conclusion of the Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”). The Independent Review was launched in July 2018 by Frank Field MP, Maria Miller MP and Baroness Butler-Sloss. The Review focused on the following four areas relevant … Continue Reading

London Metal Exchange launches consultation on new responsible sourcing standards for all traded metals

On 23 April, the London Metal Exchange (LME) launched a formal market-wide consultation on the introduction of responsible sourcing standards for all traded metals. Under the new rules, all LME listed brands will be required to undertake a phased approach, starting with a Red Flag Assessment based on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by … Continue Reading

EU Parliament approves new EU-wide rules to protect whistleblowers

On 17 April, the European Parliament adopted new rules to protect whistleblowers. The rules are designed to encourage the reporting of breaches of EU law by offering to whistleblowers EU-wide protection from dismissal, demotion and other forms of retaliation in areas including public procurement, financial services, money laundering, product and transport safety, nuclear safety, public … Continue Reading

UK Supreme Court clarifies issues on parent company liability in Lungowe v Vedanta

Summary This landmark judgment from the UK Supreme Court means that the claim brought by 1,826 Zambian villagers against UK-based Vedanta and its Zambian subsidiary KCM can proceed to a trial of the substantive issues in the English courts. One of the issues that now falls to be examined is the controversial question of whether … Continue Reading

Review of the UK Bribery Act 2010 – House of Lords Committee publishes Post-Legislative Scrutiny Report

Earlier this month, the House of Lords Select Committee (the Committee) on the Bribery Act 2010 published its Post-Legislative Scrutiny Report. The Report provides a useful summary of prosecutions under the Bribery Act and the debate surrounding “adequate” and “reasonable” procedures,  and offers insight into the limited extent to which Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) lead … Continue Reading

EU Parliament Working Group presents its Shadow EU Action Plan on the Implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights within the EU

On 19 March 2019, the European Parliament Working Group on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC Group) announced the contents of its Shadow EU Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct (the Plan). The Plan sets out the RBC Group’s priorities to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights in the EU business sector over the next … Continue Reading

BlackRock’s CEO emphasizes social impact for a second year in a row in his 2019 letter to investee companies

Earlier this year BlackRock’s Chairman and CEO Larry Fink published his annual letter to the asset management firm’s investee companies. For the second year in a row Fink has focused on social impact. At the beginning of the letter he addresses the importance of practices that “will drive sustainable, long-term growth and profitability”. Fink acknowledges … Continue Reading

UK Government to develop a code of practice to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace

In December 2018, the UK Government announced that it will introduce a new statutory code of practice to tackle workplace sexual harassment following a July 2018 report from the House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Select Committee (the Committee). The Committee’s report called on the Government to: Prioritise sexual harassment: The report calls on the … Continue Reading

UK Government confirms that public beneficial ownership registers will be established in the British Overseas Territories by 2023

On 28 January 2019, the UK Government (the Government) explained the timetable to the new 2023 deadline for the creation of public beneficial ownership registers in the British Overseas Territories (BOTs). The Government has explained that draft legislation will be prepared by the end of 2020, as required by the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act … Continue Reading

Forbes and Just Capital rank America’s largest publicly traded companies based on the ethical priorities of 81,000 Americans

890 of America’s largest publicly-traded companies have recently been ranked based on priorities gathered from polling 81,000 Americans.  The poll, coordinated by Just Capital, asked participants what they most wanted to see from the nation’s biggest businesses.  The most popular responses were that participants wanted companies to: pay workers fairly; treat customers well and protect … Continue Reading

The UK Government releases second interim report as part of the review of the Modern Slavery Act

On 22 January 2019, the UK Government (the Government) published its second interim report as part of the Independent Review (the Review) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act), which began in July 2018 (see our previous blogpost). This is the second report for phase 1 of the Review, and it focuses on transparency … Continue Reading

Draft Business and Human Rights Treaty – impact for businesses and states

In July 2018, the United Nations’ intergovernmental working group on business and human rights released the first official draft of a proposed binding international treaty on business and human rights (the Treaty). Key features of the Treaty The key provisions of the Treaty are as follows: Scope: The Treaty applies to human rights violations in … Continue Reading

UK Government releases year 1 update on its Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-2022

The UK Government (the Government) has recently published the first update on its Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-22 (the Strategy). The Strategy seeks to provide a framework to guide the Government’s anti-corruption policies and actions with a particular focus on economic crime. It provides a set of objectives covering a number of different areas, including bribery and … Continue Reading

CHRB report assesses the human rights standards of 101 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies

Major international companies in the agricultural, clothing and extractive industries have recently been assessed in respect of human rights standards in their businesses and supply chains. The 2018 Key Findings Report issued by the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB) was released on 12 November 2018. The report scored 101 of the largest publicly traded companies … Continue Reading

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre assesses FTSE 100 companies’ compliance with the Modern Slavery Act

In November 2018, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre released its third annual assessment of FTSE 100 companies’ modern slavery disclosure under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the MSA). The MSA, requires companies with a turnover of not less than £36 million to produce an annual statement outlining the steps they have taken … Continue Reading

Link between money laundering and human trafficking (estimated to generate c.US$150bn of criminal proceeds annually) explored in new report by FATF and APG

Earlier this year, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) together with the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) published a report analysing the financial flows associated with human trafficking. The report: summarises indicators of financial transactions that are laundering the proceeds of human trafficking (e.g. multiple wages being paid into one account, rapid in/out … Continue Reading

The European Commission has published a recommendation in relation to compliance with the guidelines to the Conflict Minerals Regulation

Earlier this year, the European Commission published a recommendation in relation to the non-binding guidelines for the identification of conflict-affected and high risk areas and other supply chain risks under the new Conflict Minerals Regulation.[1] The Conflict Minerals Regulation, which will apply from 1 January 2021, lays down supply chain due diligence obligations for importers of … Continue Reading

Modern Slavery Act 2015 under review

Earlier this year, the Home Office announced its plan to launch an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Led by Frank Field MP, Baroness Butler-Sloss and Maria Miller MP, the independent review aims to strengthen the UK’s ongoing response and accelerate progress from the government and businesses in eradicating modern slavery. This review … Continue Reading

The Bribery Act 2010 – post legislative scrutiny almost seven years later

The UK Bribery Act 2010 (the Act) is currently undergoing post-legislative scrutiny, the process for which was set out by the Government in 2008. In June 2018, the Ministry of Justice published a memorandum which scrutinises the Act almost seven years after it was first enacted. The memorandum provides a useful insight into the scope, implementation … Continue Reading

Camilla de Silva: corporate criminal liability, DPAs, AI and privilege

Earlier this year, Camilla de Silva, the Joint Head of Bribery and Corruption of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) gave a speech on: the future of corporate criminal liability; the SFO’s considerations when entering into a DPA; use of AI to assist with disclosure; and how the SFO will deal with privileged material going forward. Corporate criminal … Continue Reading