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Human Rights

Contact:  Franziska Plümmer

The Discussion Group on Human Rights is curated by the members of the Max Planck Research Group MAGGI which is led by Janne Mende.

The Discussion Group on Human Rights is intended for research fellows and visiting scholars of the Max Planck Institute, who are concerned with the national, regional and international protection of human rights, as well as institutional aspects of human rights protection within the framework of a research project or dissertation. The discussion group provides an opportunity for mutual exchange on selected topics and current developments in the field of human rights. Both universal and regional human rights protection with a special focus on European and other multi- level systems constitute the group`s main interest. In addition to regularly scheduled meetings, the Discussion Group endeavors to maintain contact with other research institutions and organizes lectures on selected topics concerning international human rights protection.

For previous sessions, please check the archive.


05.05.2021: Zoom webinar: Mandatory Human Rights Due Diligence: Developments in Germany

A panel discussion on the proposed German Supply Chain Law

05.05.2021 | 14:30-16:30 | Zoom Webinar

Please register here:


On 3 March 2021, the German Cabinet passed a draft for a Supply Chain Due Diligence Law (Lieferkettengesetz) which will impose an obligation on companies to identify, prevent, mitigate, and document how they address the human rights impacts of their activities. The marks a shift away from voluntary standards to regulate corporate conduct, based on social expectation and moral imperative, towards legally binding obligations. The Parliament is expected to pass it in the next few months.

Civil society campaigners the initiative have welcomed the legislative proposal, but criticize its limited scope to the company’s own activities and those of its direct suppliers (‘tier 1’ of the supply chain), and the absence of a civil liability provision.

The German developments are in line with a wider trend towards ‘mandatory human rights due diligence’ (mHRDD). Several European states have adopted similar legislation requiring companies to conduct human rights due diligence, or are in the process of doing so. The EU Parliament has adopted a legislative initiative report for an EU-wide mHRDD directive, which existing domestic legislation, such as the German law, may inform.

The Human Rights Discussion Group of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law is delighted to host a panel of four experts well-versed in the German business and human rights debate, who will discuss the latest developments around the German Supply Chain Law. They will introduce you to the main elements of the law, identify areas in which the law may be strengthened going forward, and reflect on the German efforts in relation to the wider mHRDD trend.


Dr Miriam Saage-Maaß, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
Robert Grabosch, Schweizer Legal | @rGrabosch
Frank Zach, German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)
Prof Dr Eva-Maria Kieninger, University of Würzburg

Dr Anneloes Hoff, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law