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► Full Reference: J. Jourdan-Marques, "L’arbitre, juge ex ante de la compliance ?" ("The arbitrator, ex ante judge of compliance?"), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (ed.), La juridictionnalisation de la Compliance, coll. "Régulations & Compliance", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, 2023, p. 317-334.
📕read a general presentation of the book, La juridictionnalisation de la Compliance, in which this article is published
► The summary below describes an article which follows an intervention in the scientific manifestation L'entreprise instituée Juge et Procureur d'elle-même par le Droit de la Compliance ("The company instituted Judge and Prosecutor of itself by Compliance Law"), co-organized by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and the Faculty of Law Lyon 3. This colloquium was designed by Marie-Anne Frison-Roche and Jean-Christophe Roda, scientific co-directors, and took place in Lyon on June 23, 2021.
Due to the very close proximity of the content of this article to a scientific manifestation that was held previously, in the same series of colloquia, manifestation on Compliance and Arbitration, designed by Marie-Anne Frison-Roche and Jean-Baptiste Racine, and which took place in Paris on March 31, 2021 in Paris, it was decided with the author and the scientific managers of the scientific events concerned to publish the article not in Title I of the book, devoted to the topic of the Company instituted Judge and Prosecutor of itself by Compliance Law, but in Title III, devoted to the topic of Compliance and International Arbitration.
► Summary of the article (done by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance) : The article begins with a long introduction relating to the general relationship between Compliance and Arbitration.
Then the author in a first part examines the place of the Arbitration upstream of the occurrence of the dispute, aiming at the relations of the company in its organization with other companies for its economic activities, for example commercial agents. The author examines the way in which Arbitration can resolve difficulties which arise between them, including when these issues are otherwise apprehended by Compliance Law and the institutions in charge of it, in particular because of the facts of corruption are alleged and the fact is alleged by the debtor himself when payment has not yet been requested by the creditor. The legal question then becomes whether or not there is a "dispute".
Being even further upstream, the author takes the hypothesis of the adoption of a compliance program in which recourse to arbitration would be inserted by the Company, insertion which could then be at the origin of exemption from criminal liability, an arbitration award being able to produce such an effect if it is recognized in the legal order.
The second part of the article considers Arbitration in the absence of multiple parties, which could correspond to the acts issued by the Oversight Board of Facebook, this kind of tribunal and judge not being seized by parties to a litigation. It might be adequate to qualify this mechanism as an arbitration, even if this qualification is difficult to retain. In any case, if we did so by admission that a unilateral request gives rise to a jurisdictional mission, there should be guarantees surrounding such institutionalization. They can go through specific bodies for Compliance cases, outside or within existing arbitration institutions, which must then become the driving force in the matter. In addition, the choice of arbitrators should undoubtedly go through the institution itself so that impartiality remains unchallenged and profiles of arbitrators would be truly varied. The procedure would also have vocation to be inflected because of the absence of real litigation, justifying the adjustment of the adversarial principle (in the narrow sense of this one, linked to the debate) in particular by the intervention of amicus curiae and to avoid the fraud through arbitration and in procedure. In the absence of an adversary, the procedural office of the arbitrator could be reconsidered: without modifying the terms of the case, it would be appropriate for the arbitrator to have more power to decide on the adequate measures to be taken to remedy the non- conformity with compliance requirements. Finally, publicity seems to the author essential so that the arbitration is not instrumentalised by the parties, publicity which could also concern the debates and the documents produced. These admittedly very high requirements would in return give great credibility to the resulting award, justifying its scope, and one could consider labeling such a result, a label that the company could claim.
The author concludes that these transformations would move away so much from Arbitration that it would denature it, in particular because of the absence of litigation, but this allows Companies to outsource the management of the more and more heavier responsibility engendered by Compliance Law, by offering Compagnies the assistance of a judicial authority, as soon as the procedural guarantees are reinforced.