June 28, 2019

Publications

 It is often observed, even theorized, even advised and touted, that Compliance is a mechanism by which public authorities internalize political (eg environmental) concerns in big companies, which accept them, in Ex Ante, because they are rather in agreement with these "monumental goals" (eg saving the planet) and that this shared virtue is beneficial to their reputation. It is observed that this could be the most successful way in new configurations, such as digital.

But, and the Compliance Mechanism has often been brought closer to the contractual mechanism, this is only relevant if both parties are willing to do so. This is technically true, for example for the Deferred Prosecution, which requires explicit consent. This is true in a more general sense that the company wants to choose itself how to structure its organization to achieve the goals politically pursued by the State. Conversely, the compliance mechanisms work if the State is willing to admit the economic logic of the global private players and / or, if there are possible breaches, not to pursue its investigations and close the file it has opened, at a price more or less high.

But just say No.

As in contractual matters, the first freedom is negative and depends on the ability to say No.

The State can do it. But the company can do it too.

And Daimler just said No.

___

 

Publicly, including through an article in the Wall Street Journal of June 28, 2019.

The company sets out in a warning to the market that it is the object of a requirement on the part of the German Motor Authority (Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt)  of an allegation of fraud, by the installation of a software, aimed at misleading instruments for measuring emissions of greenhouse gases on cars using diesel.

It is therefore an environmental compliance mechanism that would have been intentionally countered.

On this allegation, the Regulator both warns the company of what it considers to be a fact, ie compliance fraud, and attaches it to an immediate measure, namely the removal of the circulation of 42,000 vehicles sold or proposed by Daimler with such a device.

And the firm answers : "No".

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Which is probably only beginning, since a No ends the dialogue of Ex Ante to project in the Ex Post sanction procedures, calls 6 observations:

 

  • 1. No doubt Daimler, a German car manufacturing company, has it in mind in this allegation of fraud calculating pollution of its diesel cars what happened to his competitor Volkswagen: namely a multi-billion dollar fine, for lack of compliance in a similar hypothesis (so-called dieselgate). The strategic choice that is then made depends on education through the experience of the company, which benefits as such from a previous case that has had a very significant cost. Thus educated, the question is to measure the risk taken to refuse any cooperation, when the company can anticipate that it will still result in such an amount ....

 

  • 2. In addition, we find the difficulty of the distinction of Ex Ante and Ex Post. Indeed, saying No will involve for the company a cost of confrontation with the Regulator, then the peripheral jurisdictions or review courts. But in Germany, the Government itself, concerning a bank threatened with compliance proceedings and almost summoned by the US regulator to pay "of its own free will" a transactional fine, felt that this was not normal, because it must be the judges who punish, after a contradictory procedure with due process and after established facts. 

 

  • 3.  However, this is only an allegation, of probable assertions, of what legally allows to continue, but which does not allow to condemn. The confusion between the burden of proof, which presupposes the obligation to prove the facts before being able to sanction, and the burden of the allegation, which only supposes to articulate plausibility before being able to prosecute, is very damaging, particularly if we are committed to the principles of Repressive Law, such as the presumption of innocence and the due process. This distinction between these two probationary charges is at the heart of the probatory system in the Compliance Law. Because Compliance Law always looks for more efficiency, tends to go from the first to the second, to give the Regulator more power, since businesses are so powerful ....

 

  • 4. But the first question then arises: what is the nature no so much of the future measure to be feared, namely a sanction that could be taken later, against Daimler, if the breach is proven, or which will not be applied to the firm if the breach is not established; but what is the nature of the measure immediately taken, namely the return of 42,000 vehicles?

 

  • This may seem like an Ex Ante measurement. Indeed, the Compliance assumes non-polluting cars. The Regulator may have indications that these cars are polluting and that the manufacturer has not made the necessary arrangements for them to be less polluting (Compliance) or even organized so that this failure is not detected ( Compliance fraud).

 

  • This allegation suggests that there is a risk that thiese cars will polluting. They must immediately be removed from circulation for the quality of the environment. Here and now. The question of sanctions will arise after that, having its procedural apparatus of guarantees for the company that will be pursued. But see the situation on the side of the company: having to withdraw 42,000 vehicles from the market is a great damage and what is often called in Repressive Law a "security measure" taken while the evidence is not yet met could deserve a requalification in sanction. Jurisprudence is both abundant and nuanced on this issue of qualification.

 

  • 5. So to withdraw these cars, it is for the company to admit that it is guilty, to increase itself the punishment. And if at this game, taken from the "cost-benefit", as much for the company immediately assert to the market that this requirement of Regulation is unfounded in Law, that the alleged facts are not exacts, and that all this the judges will decide. It is sure at all whether these statements by the company are true or false, but before a Tribunal no one thinks they are true prima facie, they are only allegations.
  •  And before a Court, a Regulator appears to have to bear a burden of proof in so far as he has to defend the order he has issued, to prove the breach which he asserts exists, which justifies the exercise he made of his powers. The fact that he exercises his power for the general interest and impartially does not diminish this burden of proof.

 

  • 6. By saying "No", Daimler wants to recover this classic Law, often set aside by Compliance Law, classic Law based on burden of proof, means of proof, and prohibition of punitive measures - except imminent and future imminente and very serious damages  - before 'behavior could be sanctioned following a sanction procedure.
  • Admittedly, one would be tempted to make an analogy with the current situation of Boeing whose aircraft are grounded by the Regulator in that he considers that they do not meet the conditions of safety, which the aircraft manufacturer denies , Ex Ante measurement that resembles the retraction measure of the market that constitutes the recall request of cars here operated.
  • But the analogy does not work on two points. Firstly, flight activity is a regulated activity that can only be exercised with the Ex Ante authorization of several Regulators, which is not the case for offering to sell cars or to drive with. This is where Regulatory Law and Compliance Law, which often come together, here stand out.Secundly, the very possibility that planes of which it is not excluded that they are not sure is enough, as a precaution, to prohibit their shift. Here (about the cars and the measure of the pollution by them), it is not the safety of the person that is at stake, and probably not even the overall goal of the environment, but the fraud with respect to the obligation to obey Compliance. Why force the withdrawal of 42,000 vehicles? If not to punish? In an exemplary way, to remind in advance and all that it costs not to obey the Compliance? And there, the company says: "I want a judge".

 

​______

 

April 16, 2018

Blog

It is about a particular case that one can rephrase the general questions. If the case is hot, it is even more important to return to the general questions, which are always colder (more boring, too).

Thus, Cambridge Analytica is a case of which everyone speaks a lot ... It is at the same time particular and very burning.

So we talk about it a lot, and with vehemence, and in a way often definitive, as well in attack as in defense.

For the prosecution, there are many advocacies, gathered for example in the Guardian's files.

For the defense, we find less. But one can read for example the article that has been published in early April 2018: Why (almost) everything reported about the Cambridge Analytica Facebook 'hacking' controversy is wrong.

The number of comments, and their more or less inflamed nature, in any case always definitive, does not mean anything in itself.

The regulators took the floor a little later, both in a more concrete way, the "group of 29" (bringing together all the European Regulators personal data) establishing the 11 April 2018 a working group on this subject and publishing April 10, 2018 new guidelines on the place that must be made to "consent".

But for the moment, if we loof at the media, it looks like a trial, because everyone claims to be entirely right and pretends that the other is entirely wrong. Trial to break the truth and virtue, say the accusers. Trial in witchcraft, says Facebook. And it's always up to us.

Because all this is probably due to the fact that we are no longer spectators: we are placed in the judge's position. The financial market was the first judge. It has already condemned. Without really trying to find out. This is because the public good of the financial markets is Trust, it is enough that one can even suspect the wife of Caesar, and so it is not really matter of truth of the facts and goof application of Rule of Law.

For the public opinion that we are, this is something else, because we could wait to know more. And we should, since we seek to remain a little attached to the "truth " of the facts and respect for the Rule of Law. However, this case is complex and is above all a matter of judicial analysis which will come and which we cannot lead ourselves, both in terms of the facts-which are complex-as well as the rules of law to be applied which are equally so.

What turns us into a court, an ordinary sociological phenomenon, is a new legal mechanism: the "whistleblower". By nature, it gives the bonus to the Attack

This logic of the legal mechanism of the whistleblower, a movement of fact to throw facts as one throws a buoy outside but one could also say stones on the firm that the insider denounces, logic today encouraged and protected by the Law, allows a person who knows something, most often because he participated, to let everyone know, without a filter. To denounce it. For the public good..

The successive texts on the whistleblower are nrms of a Compliance Law!footnote-1129 which seek, in particular in French Law, to ensure a balance between this "monumental goal"!footnote-1130 which is the respect of the truth, the fight against corruption, the protection of human beings, etc., and the risks to be endured by the company thus denounced.

The case is exemplary of this, since Facebook is  "denounced" only in second place, behind Cambridge Analytica, but the notoriety and power of the first makes that it is hit first. French law in the so-called "Sapin 2 Act " of 2016 has ensured to protect the company denounced, but British and American Law are more violent, probably because they encourage more the private enforcement.

Temporality is therefore favorable to the attack. The time of the defense is always slower. It is usually the people in situations of weakness who suffer it: slowness of justice, justice outside courthouses, etc. With Compliance mechanisms, it is probably the very powerful who will live this. It is not a matter of rejoicing: the misfortune of some (here the difficulty of a company hasty  "judged") does not console in any way the misfortune of others (the difficulty of ordinary beings accused or having only the right to protect themselves to reach concretely a judge and really get a judgment executed, even as they are in their right).

But if we go to general questions, since on the facts of this case we don't have the means to appreciate them, nor on the rules which apply to them, we cannot apply them in an adequate way until a court will have exercised its office?

However, the general perspectives highlighted by this singular case are two orders: Probationary order (I) and Accountability order (II).

 

 

Read below.

 

 

 

 

 

1

Frison-Roche, M.-A., Compliance Law, 2016.

2

On this notion, Frison-Roche, M.-A., From Regulation Law to Compliance Law, 2017.

Oct. 16, 2017

Blog

L'arrêt rendu le 6 septembre 2017 par la Cour de Justice de l'Union européenne dans le cas Intell c/ Commission Européenne est exemplaire. Il constitue une leçon de droit, un trame de la façon dont une autorité de sanction doit fonctionner : leçon de procédure, au point de contact entre la forme et le fond que constitue la preuve. C'est en cela que le Droit économique, si inspiré par les théories économiques soit-il, doit satisfaire les principes directeurs du droit les plus fondamentaux comme les plus simples, par exemple : l'Autorité ne peut condamner sans preuve. En effet l'Autorité qui sanctionne se rapproche de la figure du juge, l'entreprise poursuivie se rapproche de celle d'une personne poursuivie, titulaire de droits de la défense et du droit de contredire.

D'une concision et d'une clarté de rédaction à faire rougir la doctrine française qui ne cesse de vanter ces qualités dont on cherche parfois trace dans nos décisions nationale de justice, la CJUE exprime 3 idées claires et nettes.

1. En préalable, la CJUE, réunie en Grande chambre, rappelle que l'Autorité de concurrence n'est pas une Autorité de régulation.

Elle pose que sur un marché concurrentiel, la "concurrence par les mérites" permet à une entreprise de vouloir activement atteindre une position dominante, l'éviction des compétition moins efficace étant un bienfait pour les consommateurs, leur présence sur le marché ayant pas à être protégée.

2. En deuxième lieu, la CJUE reprend la construction entre les objets de preuve, leur pertinence, les charges de preuves et le contradictoire.

  • La CJUE affirme que l'Autorité de concurrence doit donc démontrer l'objet ou l'effet, effectif ou potentiel, anticoncurrentiel de la pratique.
  • L'Autorité peut pour cela recourir à des "tests", comme ici le test AEC (As Efficient Competitor), mais si elle prend appui sur les résultats de celui-ci et si ces résultats sont contestés par l'entreprise, elle ne peut pas condamner celle-ci sans avoir répondu aux critiques méthodologiques ainsi formulées.

3. En troisième lieu, la CJUE continue de veiller au respect des droits de la défense, principe de procédure par lequel la personne menacée par la décision peut faire valoir ses arguments, articulation donc entre le système probatoire et le fond du dossier.

 

Et c'est pourquoi au terme de cette leçon, la condamnation a été magistralement annulée.

 

 

 

 

Sept. 6, 2017

Thesaurus : 05. CJCE - CJUE

Référence : CJUE, Grande chambre, 6 septembre 2017, Intell c/ Commission Européenne, C‑413/14.

 

Lire l'arrêt.

July 28, 2016

Thesaurus : 03. Conseil d'Etat

 

Lire l'Ordonnance rendue par le Conseil d’État.

La personne avait saisi les juges administratifs car il est l'objet dans sa détention d'une télésurveillance en continue.

Sa détention provisoire est organisée dans le cadre d'une procédure sur des faits d'homicides multiples s'étant déroulés dans le lieu de spectacle "Le Bataclan".

La personne conteste le traitement dont il est l'objet, notamment parce que le caractère continu de cette télésurveillance constituerait une atteinte à sa vie privée, dont la protection est protégée par un droit de l'homme dont il est titulaire au terme de l'article 8 de la Convention européenne des droits de l'Homme.

Le 15 juillet 2016, le juge administratif des référés rejette sa demande.

Sur recours, le Conseil d’État par une ordonnance rendue par trois juges des référés rejette le recours.

____

Le Conseil d’État rappelle la charge de preuve qui pèse sur celui qui veut obtenir la suppression du dispositif en alléguant son droit subjectif : le requérant doit démontrer que "la mesure dont il fait l’objet serait manifestement incompatible avec les stipulations de l’article 8 de la convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l'homme et des libertés fondamentales", ce qui la rendrait de ce fait manifestement illégale et devrait alors être rapportée.

L'Ordonnance est longuement motivée, pour justifier ce qui est désigné par le Conseil d’État comme   "la compatibilité de l’atteinte portée au droit de M. B...au respect de sa vie privée avec l’article 8 de la convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l'homme et des libertés fondamentales".

Le Conseil d'Etat rappelle que "il résulte de l’instruction que tant le caractère exceptionnel des faits pour lesquels M. B... est poursuivi, qui ont porté à l’ordre public un trouble d’une particulière gravité, que le contexte actuel de poursuite de ces actes de violence terroriste, font, à la date de la présente décision, obligation à l’administration pénitentiaire de prévenir, avec un niveau de garantie aussi élevé que possible, toute tentative d’évasion ou de suicide de l’intéressé".

Il poursuivit la première partie de son raisonnement : "eu égard à la forte présomption selon laquelle ce dernier peut bénéficier du soutien d’une organisation terroriste internationale disposant de moyens importants, et alors même qu’il n’aurait pas manifesté à ce jour de tendance suicidaire, sa surveillance très étroite, allant au-delà de son seul placement à l’isolement, revêt ainsi, à la date de la présente décision, un caractère nécessaire".

Puis le Conseil d’État passe à la seconde question et souligne que : "il résulte également de l’instruction que l’administration, qui devra statuer sur le maintien de la mesure de vidéosurveillance continue au plus tard à l’échéance de la durée de trois mois prévue par la décision du 17 juin 2016, est également en mesure de s’assurer régulièrement de son bien fondé, notamment, ainsi qu’il a été rappelé à l’audience, par l’existence d’une surveillance médicale régulière ; que compte tenu de cette circonstance, ainsi que des modalités de mise en œuvre de la vidéosurveillance, qui comportent notamment la mise en place de dispositifs permettant de respecter l’intimité de la personne, l’absence de transmission ou d’enregistrement sonore, l’usage, ainsi qu’il a été précisé à l’audience, de caméras à infrarouge pendant la nuit, l’absence de dispositif biométrique couplé, la limitation de la durée de conservation des images et l’encadrement de leurs droits d’accès, la mesure contestée ne porte pas au droit au respect de la vie privée du requérant une atteinte manifestement disproportionnée aux buts en vue desquels elle a été établie".

 

Sept. 15, 2010

Publications

Référence complète : FRISON-ROCHE, Marie-Anne, L'office du juge en matière de médicaments, in FRISON-ROCHE, Marie-Anne (Dir.), Concurrence, santé publique, innovation et médicament, coll. Droit et Economie, LGDJ, Paris, 2010, p.423-432.

 Accéder à l'article.

Lire la présentation générale de l'ouvrage dans lequel l'article a été publié.

 

Oct. 19, 1999

Conferences

Référence complète : FRISON-ROCHE, Marie-Anne, "Les techniques de preuve en droit des affaires", IMA, 19 octobre 1999, Paris.