Nov. 4, 2021


► Full Reference: Frison-Roche, M.A., Assessment of whistleblowing and the obligation of vigilance with regard to international competitiveness, in Frison-Roche, M.-A. (ed.), Compliance Monumental Goals, series "Compliance & Regulation",  Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) et Bruylant, to be published.


🚧 read the bilingual Working Paper, basis for this article 


► Article Summary: Taking up the legal tools of Compliance and confronting them with the concern that Law must have for the Competitiveness of companies, it is necessary that these legal instruments not harm it because Compliance Law, because of its immense ambitions, can only function through an alliance between political wills with great pretensions (save the planet) and the entities which are able to achieve these goals (the crucial economic operators : the political drawing on the compagnies" power, it would be contradictory for the legal instruments put in place by Law to harm the ability of companies to face global economic competition, or worse to favor international competitors acting under legal systems which do not integrate Compliance obligations.  

From this principle, it is possible to assess these two legal techniques of whistleblowing and vigilance obligation: both consist in capturing Information, which gives them a strong uniqueness and fits them into the global competition for Information.

Taking the whistleblowing, its first beneficiary is the company itself since the firm discovers a weakness and can therefore remedy it. Therefore, beyond the principle of protection of the whistleblower by their access to the legal statute, for instance the one conceived by the French 2016 law known as "Sapin 2", it is questionable that all the incentives are not put in place so that the holder of such information transmits it to the manager. It is not the European solution, even after the European Directive of 2019, national legal systems continuing to require the absence of financial compensation, the "heroic figure of the whistleblower and the refusal of their remuneration depriving the company of Information and improvement. First to the manager, with external transmission taking place if the latter does nothing, the internal manager is thus encouraged to act and put an end to the dysfunction, which increases the competitiveness of the company.

But the French legislation has on the contrary developed the right incentive as to the person to whom the information is transmitted because by obliging to transmit first to the manager, the external transmission intervening if the internal management does nothing, the incentive is thus made to the internal manager to act and put an end to the dysfunction, this legal solution increasing the competitiveness of the company.

Even more, and even if it seems counter-intuitive, the obligation of vigilance increases the competitiveness of the obliged companies. Indeed, Law by obliging them to prevent and fight against violations of human rights and the environment has tacitly given them all the necessary powers to do so, notably the power to collect Information on third-party companies, including (and even above all) those which are not subject to transparency obligations. In this respect, companies, as far as they are personally responsible, hold supervisory power over others, a power which allows to globalize Compliance Law and which, in the process, increases the Companies' own power. Therefore, the obligation of vigilance is in many respects a boon for the companies which are subject to it. The resumption of the mechanism by the next European Directive, itself indifferent to the territory, will only strengthen this global power of vigilant companies over possibly foreign companies which become its passive subjects.


📘​ read the general presentation of the book in which this article is published


► read the presentations of the other Marie-Anne Frison-Roche's contributions in this book: 

📝Compliance Monumental Goals, beating heart of Compliance Law

📝Definition of Principe of Proportionality and Definition of Compliance Law,

📝 Role and Place of Companies in the Creation and Effectiveness of Compliance Law in Crisis




Updated: Jan. 14, 2021 (Initial publication: Dec. 14, 2020)


  Full Reference : Frison-Roche, M.-A., The Economic Attractiveness of Impartiality ("L'attractivité économique de l'impartialité"), in ""Economic Attractiveness, Judge Office and Impartiality. Thinking the judge Office" ("L'attractivité économique, l'office du juge et l'impartialité. Penser l'office du juge"), 



🎥 watch the conference (in French with English subtitles)



📝 read the colloquium program ( in French)

📝 see the general program of the cycle on the Judge Office.



📝 read François Ancel's article of 14th of January 2021 in the Receuil Dalloz and which report this colloquium (in French) 



📝 read the Working Paper, basis of this conference.

This Working Paper is significantly different from the conference because it was conceived befor the colloquia cycle beginning. In addition, since this manifestation was a Round Table, the conference has taken more into account previous conferences and what said the other two speakers.


📊 see the slides, basis of the conference (in French)

The slides could not be shown during the conference. Orally, it was appropriate to more develop the introductory remarks for emphasizing the human and unique dimension of the Judge Office, expected in economic matters. As a result, the second part of the conference was not given orally, so slides therefore remain the only media available.


  Summary of the conference : To fit into the ambition of this general colloquia cycle, which is to "Think the Judge Office" and in this round table which apprehends the imperative of economic attractiveness of this office, firstly emerges the seemingly contradictory relationship between this imperative and the distance that the judge must maintain. Thus it is often asserted that the judge should be internalized at this point in the "places", - an economic concept of great scope (to which the first part of the introduction is devoted, defining the "place" at the same time as a closed and porous space and as a "systemic litigant" -, that he/she should ipso facto lose his/her distance, that is to say his/her impartiality. As places are in competition, even if weighing on one hand the effectiveness of the place, and on the other hand the impartiality of a judge who is external to this place - Judge referring to the Law , Impartiality would necessarily emerge weakened. It would then be necessary on a case-by-case basis to get the judge to give the desired concessions...

The conference aim is to take the opposite position and to state that the Place - in particular because they must be strongly distinguished from the Markets, of which they were the ancestors - require a Judge, who is at the same time "singular", that is to say with a personality, a face, opinions, and in distance so that his/her imagination does not surprise Place. Indeed, these require a human Justice, and a not mechanical one and singular judges, of whom the juge des référés or the arbitrator are the epigone, meets this need. But for reducing their "margins of discretion", how Economy qualifies the Impartiality of a person who can never be neutral, the singular Judge's Office must be inserted into mechanisms reducing these margins. In this way, the Place may reach a Judge who is always more impartial, and in doing so the Place becomes always more attractive.

To achieve this in practice, the place expresses two legitimate expectations, as a "systemic litigant", whose satisfaction increases and the singular Judge's Impartiality and increases the Attractiveness of the Place as a space. This clearly shows that the Place's Attractiveness and the Judge's Impartiality, because judges are inserted into procedures, into institutions and into a "jurisdictional family", are not only not contradictory, but are on the contrary convergent, one fueling the other.

Concretely, and judicial practice shows it, it is necessary to consolidate the particular Judge's Impartiality by inserting him/her into collective processes. As it is necessary to promote a radiance of Impartiality by strengthening the "jurisdictional family".

To consolidate the singular Judge's Impartiality  by inserting him/her into collective processes, it is necessary to admit without hesitation the subjectivity of the judge, to seek it even. The reduction of the margins of discretion, definition of impartiality, being obtained by the inclusion of the judge in a procedure of which he /her alone is the master but in which he/her is not alone. This has the technical consequence that he/her is himself/herself in an adversarial debate, not only during the proceedings, but also before (in the media), inside the judgment (and the decision of the Criminal Chamber of 25 November 2020 is a model of that) and after the judgment. By that, the Judge shows that by his/her office he/she is in the future, as climate justice will show. In addition, to limit his/her margins of discretion, the singular judge must fit into a rational principle of coherence, vertical and horizontal. Vertical coherence, because he/she integrates what it is said and the technique of the "determining opinion" is to be encouraged, the singular judge having to avoid it only if he/she has "strong reasons" to do it. This is to follow  this general rule Comply or Explain (which is the very opposite of blind obedience). Horizontal coherence, because the singular judge either sticks to what he/she said, estoppel also being a rule of logic. But above all, the institution must extract as much as possible from " institutional doctrines", by all means, of which the annual reports are an example.

To consolidate the singular Judge's Impartiality by strengthening the notion and reality of the "Jurisdictional Family", it is necessary to have of it a broader conception, which could lead to "guidelines" common to various jurisdictions, and a stronger one, by integrating those surrounding the judge to lead to judgment. In this, the procedure before the Court of Justice of the European Union, working on a common file, is a model. If this community were even stronger, the Judge Office would be even more useful than it is already in the digital space.

Thus, Judges who are always human, always diverse, always singular, who listen, consider and adjust to the situation, who within a Jurisdictional Family fit into an Institutional Doctrine which transcends and supports them but which they transform if there is a strong reason to do so, a reason always expressed said: this is the embodied Impartiality that makes an economic and financial Place attractive.






April 13, 2011


Référence complète : Frison-Roche, Marie-Anne, Regulation versus Competition, The Journal of Regulation, n°7, March/April 2011, I-1.30, p.550-559.

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