Sept. 23, 2021

Thesaurus : Doctrine

SCHILLER, Sophie👤

đź“ťUn juge unique en cas de manquement international Ă  des obligations de compliance ?, in Frison-Roche, M.-A. (dir.), đź“•La juridictionnalisation de la Compliance

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â–ş Full Reference: Schiller, S., Un juge unique en cas de manquement international Ă  des obligations de compliance ? ("A single judge in the event of an international breach of compliance obligations?"), in Frison-Roche, M.-A. (dir.), La juridictionnalisation de la Complianceseries "RĂ©gulations & Compliance", Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, to be published. 

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â–ş English Summary of the Article (done by the Author, translated by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance): Given the very international nature of the topic apprehended, the actors involved and therefore the compliance disputes, it is essential to know if a person can be implicated before several judges, attached to different states or even if he can be condemned by several jurisdictions. The answer is given by the non bis in idem principle, which is the subject of a abondant case law on the basis of Article 4 of Protocol n°7 of the ECHR, clearly inapplicable for jurisdictions emanating from different States.

To assess whether breaches of compliance obligations may be subject to multiple sanctions in different states, it will first be necessary to ascertain whether there is a textual basis to be invoked.

At European level, Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights now allows the principle of ne bis in idem to be invoked. Applicable to all areas of compliance, it provides very strong protection which covers not only sanctions, but also prosecutions. Like its effects, the scope of Article 50 is very broad. The procedures concerned are those which have a repressive nature, beyond those pronounced by criminal courts in the strict sense, which makes it possible to cover the convictions pronounced by one of the many regulatory authorities competent in matters of compliance.

Internationally, the situation is less clear. Article 14-7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights may be invoked, if several obstacles are overcome, including the decision of 2 November 1987 of the Human Rights Committee which restricted it to the internal framework, requiring a double conviction by the same State.

Even if these principles are applicable, two specificities of compliance situations risk hampering their application, the first related to the applicable procedural rules, in particular the rules of jurisdiction, the second related to the specificities of the situation.

The application of the non bis in idem rule is only formally accepted with regard to universal jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction, that is to say extraterritorial jurisdiction, which is only part of the jurisdiction. . The Cour de cassation (French Judiciary Supreme Court) confirmed this in the famous so-called “Oil for food” judgment of March 14, 2018. The refusal to recognize this principle as universal, regardless of the jurisdiction rule in question, deprives French companies of a defense. Moreover, the repression of breaches of compliance rules is more and more often resolved through transactional mechanisms. The latter will not always fall within the scope of European and international rules laying down the non bis in idem principle, for lack of being sometimes qualified as "final judgment" under the terms of Article 50 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 14-7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Breaches in terms of compliance are often based on multiple acts. This results from prescriptions the starting point of which is delayed at the last event and a facilitated jurisdiction for French courts when only one of the constitutive facts is found in France. In terms of compliance, the non bis in idem principle therefore generally does not protect companies and does not prevent them from being sued before the courts of two different countries for the same case. It nevertheless grants them another protection by obliging them to take into account foreign decisions in determining the amount of the penalty. The sanction against Airbus SE in the Judicial Convention of Public Interest (CJIP) of January 29, 2020 is a perfect illustration of this.

Breaches in terms of compliance are often based on multiple acts. This causes delays in the starting point of prescriptions, starting point delayed at the last event, and this facilitates judicial jurisdiction for French courts when only one of the constitutive facts is found in France. In terms of compliance, the non bis in idem principle therefore generally does not protect companies and does not prevent them from being sued before the courts of two different countries for the same case. It nevertheless grants them another protection by obliging them to take into account foreign decisions in determining the amount of the penalty. The sanction against Airbus SE in the Convention judiciaire d'intĂ©rĂŞt public -CJIP (French Judicial Convention of Public Interest)  of January 29, 2020 is a perfect illustration of this.

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đź“•see the general presentation of the book, La Juridictionnalisation de la Compliance, in which this article is published.

 

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