July 3, 2018

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📝Dessiner les cercles du Droit de la Compliance, in Études en l'honneur de Philippe Neau-Leduc, 📗Le juriste dans la cité

by Marie-Anne Frison-Roche

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â–ş Full Reference:  Frison-Roche, M.-A., Dessiner les cercles du Droit de la Compliance, in Ă‰tudes en l'honneur de Philippe Neau-Leduc, Le juriste dans la citĂ©coll. « Les mĂ©langes », LGDJ-Lextenso,  2018, pp. 483-496.

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🚧this article  is based on a Working Paper, with footnotes, technical references and hypertext links. 

This Working Paper is freely available :

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â–ş English Summary of this article: Compliance Law has the same teleological functioning as the Economic Law to which it belongs, which consists in placing the normativity of rules, decisions and reasoning in the aims pursued. Once we know what the goals of compliance techniques are, then we know who should be responsible for them, who must be subject to them, who must activate the rules: compliance rules must be activated by those who are in the best position to achieve the outcome in order to achieve the goal sought by the authority which designed the compliance mechanism. The "circles" are thus plotted in a rational and pragmatic way. That, all of it ("useful effect"), but not beyond that. The notion of efficiency does not always imply balancing: on the contrary, it can involve drawing circles which designate those who are "placed" to carry the burden of the rules because they are capable of producing them the desired effects. Within these circles, the rules must apply without restriction and without compromise, but they must not apply beyond these circles.

Drawing such circles requires defining the Law of Compliance itself, since on the one hand the choice of those who must implement the Compliance depends on the aims of the Compliance and on the other hand the definition of the Law of Compliance is itself teleological in nature. This is why, contrary to the assertion that the exercise of definition would be useless in these matters, which would be above all on a case-by-case basis, this effort to define and determine the purposes is, on the contrary, necessary in practice to show which enterprise must bear the obligations of compliance and which must not.

But it is enough to have posed this to reveal the major difficulty of the Compliance, that explains resistances, and even gives the impression that one is confronted with an aporia. If, as a matter of principle, what is expected of the "users" of the Compliance mechanisms must be articulated to the aim that is affected by the authors of the compliance mechanisms to them, we must have a minimum correspondence between the aims of these authors (Legislators and Regulators) and the aims pursued by those who are responsible for implementing them: companies. However, this correspondence does not exist at first sight, because the compliance mechanisms are found to be uniquely based on "monumental goals" which the public authorities have a legitimate concern, whereas companies have for their own interest . The two circles do not match. The internationalization of concern for these aims in companies would therefore be only a mechanism of violence of which enterprises are the object, violence felt as such. (I).

To resolve this violence, it is better to stop confusing the State and enterprises, whose goals are not the same, and draw the circle of subjects of law "eligible" for Compliance. It is highly legitimate to target certain entities, in particular this category of companies, which are the "crucial operators", in a binding way, as it is legitimate to govern companies that have expressed a desire to surpass their own interests. These circles of a different nature can overlap on a concrete operator: for example, if a bank - always a crucial operator that is structural because it is systemic - is also international - a crucial operator because of its activity - decides to worry about others by commitments verified by the authorities to overcome their own interest (social responsibility), but these different circles are not confused. In any case, companies may belong to only one circle, or even belong to none. In the latter case, they must therefore remain beyond the reach of the pressure and cost of Compliance Law, in particular because they are not objectively required to realize the "monumental goals" aimed at effectiveness and do not want it: in a liberal system, it is for the public authorities to aim at the general interest, the ordinary people indirectly participating in it by paying the tax. (II).

It is by making these "Compliance Circles" of eligible subjects of this specific Law to implement the heavy but justified and controlled burden of Compliance with regard to the monumental goals that this new system  aims, that then opens a royal way in order to find a uniqueness and to increase the "monumental function" of the Compliance Law by a relation of Trust towards the global general interest, rather than the mechanical application of rules whose meaning is not understood and whose perception is no longer perceived than violence.

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