French Vigilance Law – Latest from the Paris Court

10 August 2023
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Key Takeaways:
  • The Paris Civil Court has now rendered a series of decisions in injunction proceedings brought under France’s Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law. While the first of those decisions was handed down in November 2021, marking the first time the French courts had been called upon to interpret the legislation, three decisions have followed in the period between February and July 2023. All four applications have been dismissed on similar grounds of admissibility.
  • If upheld on appeal, the court’s reasoning will make it considerably more difficult for claimants to obtain injunctions under the vigilance law.
  • While it remains to be seen how claimants might adapt their approach to address the procedural issues identified by the court, the first instance decisions are notable for having emphasized that the intention behind the legislation is to encourage a “dialogue” between stakeholders and companies on their vigilance plans. Reading between the lines, the decisions might also signal a reluctance by the courts to interfere too readily in a complex area of corporate decision-making.