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► Full reference: André, Ch., Souveraineté étatique, souveraineté populaire : quel contrat social pour la compliance ? (" State sovereignty, popular sovereignty: what social contract for compliance? "), in Frison-Roche, M.-A. (ed.), Les buts monumentaux de la Compliance, series "Régulations & Compliance", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, to be published.
► Article Summary (done by the author): The “Compliance Monumental Goals” serve as vectors for “common” social values: the proposal is simple, but it seems both familiar and strange to a criminal lawyer.
Familiar, because even if compliance transcends the borders of academic disciplines, it shares with criminal law a logic sanctioning attacks on social interests. Strange, because Monumental Goals convey social values by sweeping away all the learned discussions that have been going on since Beccaria about the foundations and axiological functions of punishment. Indeed, the social values promoted by Monumental Goals are “common” in every sense of the word.
First, they are shared and internalized by the largest enterprises in the Western world, without the need for an international treaty on protected values. The question of sovereignty is overshadowed.
Second, they are common in that they are commonplace, ordinary, approved of by most Western consumer-citizens: probity, equality, respect for the environment, who would not be in favour of respecting them? Hence it is in companies’ interest to communicate and diffuse, urbi and orbi, how they respect these Monumental Goals. The question of citizens’ consensus on values is sidestepped, as they are supposed to be derived from the obvious (even if the goals could be achieved by different means, or even contradict each other).
Third, these values are common because they now enlist a multitude of communicants (the “compliance officer”, among others) who, more or less gracefully - the meticulous liturgy of compliance can put off some officiants and incite buffoonery - seek to spread the cult of these values at all levels of business. Since these values are respected, they are necessarily respectable: businesses become moralized by the multitude who respect them. Existence precedes essence, and the values conveyed contribute to the businesses’ raison d’être, beyond the pursuit of profit. The question of effectiveness vanishes, since these values are already there, regularly monitored, both internally and by public authorities. Sovereignty, citizenship, effectiveness: the logic of Compliance supplants the academic debates of criminal lawyers with practical solutions. Perhaps this is how the goals are “monumental”: vast, global, overwhelming. Compliance may not be the best of all worlds, but it is most certainly another world.