Thesaurus : Doctrine

 Full Reference: J.-B. Racine, "Obligation de Compliance et droits humains" ("Compliance Obligation and Human Rights"), in M.-A. Frison-Roche (dir.), L'Obligation de ComplianceJournal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Dalloz, "Régulations & Compliance" Serie, 2024, to be published.

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📕read a general presentation of the book, L'Obligation de Compliance, in which this article is published

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 English Summary of the article (done by the Journal of Regulation & Compliance - JoRC) : The author asks whether human rights can, over and above the many compliance obligations, form the basis of the Compliance Obligation. The consideration of human rights corresponds to the fundamentalisation of Law, crossing both Private and Public Law, and are considered by some as the matrix of many legal mechanisms, including international ones. They prescribe values that can thus be disseminated.

Human rights come into direct contact with Compliance Law as soon as Compliance Law is defined as "the internalisation in certain operators of the obligation to structure themselves in order to achieve goals which are not natural to them, goals which are set by public authorities responsible for the future of social groups, goals which these companies must willingly or by force aim to achieve, simply because they are in a position to achieve them". These "Monumental Goals" converge on human beings, and therefore the protection of their rights by companies. 

In a globalised context, the State can either act through mandatory regulations, or do nothing, or force companies to act through Compliance Law. For this to be effective, tools are needed to enable 'crucial' operators to take responsibility ex ante, as illustrated in particular by the French law on the Vigilance Obligation of 2017.

This obligation takes the form of both a "legal obligation", expression which is quite  imprecise, found for example in the duty of vigilance of the French 2017 law, and in a more technical sense through an obligation that the company establishes, in particular through contracts.

Legal obligations are justified by the fact that the protection of human rights is primarily the responsibility of States, particularly in the international arena. Even if it is only a question of Soft Law, non-binding Law, this tendency can be found in the Ruggie principles, which go beyond the obligation of States not to violate human rights, to a positive obligation to protect them effectively. The question of whether this could apply not only to States but also to companies is hotly debated. If we look at the ICSID Urbaser v. Argentina award of 2016, the arbitrators accepted that a company had an obligation not to violate human rights, but rejected an obligation to protect them effectively. In European Law, the GDPR, DSA and AIA, and in France the so-called Vigilance law, use Compliance Lools, often Compliance by Design, to protect human rights ex ante.

Contracts, particularly through the inclusion of multiple clauses in often international contracts, express the "privatisation" of human rights. Care should be taken to ensure that appropriate sanctions are associated with them and that they do not give rise to situations of contractual imbalance. The relationship of obligation in tort makes it necessary to articulate the Ex Ante logic and the Ex Post logic and to conceive what the judge can order.

The author concludes that "la compliance oblige à remodeler les catégories classiques du droit dans l’optique de les adosser à l’objectif même de la compliance : non pas uniquement un droit tourné vers le passé, mais un droit ancré dans les enjeux du futur ; non pas un droit émanant exclusivement de la contrainte publique, mais un droit s’appuyant sur de la normativité privée ; non pas un droit strictement territorialisé, mais un droit appréhendant l’espace transnational" ("Compliance requires us to reshape the classic categories of Law with a view to bringing them into line with the very objective of Compliance: not just a Law turned towards the past, but a Law anchored in the challenges of the future; not a Law emanating exclusively from public constraint, but a Law based on private normativity; not a strictly territorialised Law, but a law apprehending the transnational space".

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Feb. 9, 2024

Conferences

🌐follow Marie-Anne Frison-Roche on LinkedIn

🌐subscribe to the Newsletter MAFR Regulation, Compliance, Law

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► Full ReferenceM.-A. Frison-Roche, "Le renforcement des engagements de Compliance par le renvoi Ex Ante à l'arbitrage international" ("Reinforcing Compliance commitments by referring Ex Ante to International Arbitration"), in L. Aynès, M.-A. Frison-Roche, J.-B. Racine and E. Silva-Romero (dir.), L'arbitrage international en renfort de l'obligation de Compliance (International Arbitration in support of the Compliance Obligation)Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Institute of World Business Law of the ICC (Institute), Conseil Économique Social et Environnemental (CESE), Paris, February 9, 2024

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🧮see the full programme of this event

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🌐consult on LinkedIn a general presentation of this event, which links to a presentation of each speech (in French)

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🧱consult the scientific direction sheet of this event, which gives an account of the various speeches made

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🔲see the slides used to support the presentation (in French)

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📝This conference and the Working Paper on which it is based are to be linked with the article to be published in the book📘Compliance Obligation 

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🎤see a presentation of the conference "Préalable : ce qu'est l'Obligation de Compliance" ("Prerequisite: what is the Compliance Obligation"), given at the same symposium

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🎤see a presentation of the conference "Préalable : ce qu'est un engagement" ("Prerequisite: the Commitment"), given at the same symposium

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► Presentation of the conference: It was initially planned that I would speak on the subject Le renforcement des engagements de Compliance par le renvoi Ex Ante à l'arbitrage international (Reinforcing Compliance commitments through the Ex Ante referral to International Arbitration), but it was agreed with the other organisers of the symposium that after defining the concept of the Compliance Obligation📎!footnote-3390 I would refocus my second speech, mentioned above, on what a Commitment is📎!footnote-3391, an essential prerequisite for dealing with the subject of International Arbitration in support of the Compliance Obligation. Developments on Reinforcing Compliance commitments through the Ex Ante referral to International Arbitration will appear in the forthcoming books: L'obligation de Compliance (in French), Compliance Obligation (in English). Nevertheless, if I had dealt with this subject, I would have raised the following points:

  • The inclusion of an offer of arbitration in the field of Compliance implies considering it in a contract as well as in a non-contractual commitment, and studying which category of Compliance Obligation the offer may apply to.
  • This insertion benefits from taking the form of a "graduated offer", in a crescendo organised by the company ex ante and offered to the stakeholders: conciliation, mediation and arbitration, in "circles of trust"📎!footnote-3387. This is supported by the current French amicable settlement policy.
  • The result was that I had to prepare a long "preliminary" discussion of what a "commitment" is, without which it seemed difficult to talk in concrete terms about the effective insertion of an offer of arbitration if we did not know whether such links or words had a constraining effect on the person issuing them in relation to the person benefiting from them. After discussions with the other speakers, it became clear that it would be more effective to give a talk devoted solely to the question of the legal definition of commitment. We therefore decided to allocate this second speaking slot to the notion of commitment. Since the written words do not have the same constraints, it will take up the initial construction, insisting on the different supports, either compliance contracts, or associations with compliance clauses, relating to different Compliance obligations, in particular on information or audit or Vigilance📎!footnote-3388, because the company must have the legal power corresponding to the mission that the State entrusts to it through Compliance📎!footnote-3389.
  • The offer must be carefully drafted to explain its purpose, and its organisation must prove the reality of this purpose: to give access to a judge to people affected by the company's activity, and not to block it.
  • This will therefore be available in detail in the forthcoming books:

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Feb. 9, 2024

Conferences

🌐follow Marie-Anne Frison-Roche on LinkedIn

🌐subscribe to the Newsletter MAFR Regulation, Compliance, Law

____

► Full ReferenceM.-A. Frison-Roche, "Préalable : ce qu'est l'obligation de Compliance" ("Prerequisite: the Compliance Obligation"), in L. Aynès, M.-A. Frison-Roche, J.-B. Racine and E. Silva-Romero (dir.), L'arbitrage international en renfort de l'obligation de Compliance (International Arbitration in support of the Compliance Obligation)Journal of Regulation & Compliance (JoRC) and Institute of World Business Law of the ICC (Institute), Conseil Économique Social et Environnemental (CESE), Paris, February 9, 2024

____

🧮see the full programme of this event

____

🌐consult on LinkedIn a general presentation of this event, which links to a presentation of each speech (in French)

____

🧱consult the scientific direction sheet of this event, which gives an account of the various speeches made

____

🔲see the slides used to support the presentation (in French)

____

🎤see a presentation of the conference "Préalable : ce qu'est un engagement" ("Prerequisite: the Commitment"), given at the same symposium

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🎤see a presentation of the conference "Le renforcement des engagements de Compliance par le renvoi Ex Ante à l'arbitrage international" ("Reinforcing Compliance commitments by referring Ex Ante to International Arbitration") which was finally not pronounced but will be the subject of an 📝article in the forthcoming book 📘Compliance Obligation 

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► Presentation of the conference: I have first dealt with the very definition of the Compliance Obligation.

After showing that the relationship between Compliance Law and International Arbitration will naturally develop, because the companies subject to it are international, because they contractualise their legal Compliance obligations and because Compliance is being jurisdictionalised📎!footnote-3379, the arbitrator being the natural judge since he is a global judge and the judge of the contract, I pointed out that Compliance Law does not simply entrust arbitration with the task of preventing evils, such as corruption pacts, but that it creates positive obligations for companies: to detect and prevent behaviour whose systemic effect is deleterious.

This culture of compliance is achieved either through compliance contracts📎!footnote-3380 (which outsource the handling of audits, alerts, the drawing up of plans, etc.), or through compliance clauses📎!footnote-3380, which are inserted into distribution or supply contracts, etc.; arbitration clauses are linked to these. Thus, the alliance between Compliance and Contract is an indirect mode of alliance between Arbitration and Compliance Obligation.

The obligation of Compliance which then takes concrete form consists for the company not in making effective Ex Ante all the regulations which apply to it (conception of conformity which is at once unreasonable, blind and impossible), but in making its best efforts, which it must make visible (see Compliance Evidence System📎!footnote-3381) to achieve Monumental Goals.

These Monumental Goals are systemic. The aim is to protect systems from collapse (Negative Monumental Goals) or to make them better (Positive Monumental Goals)📎!footnote-3382. By making companies accountable, via this Ex Ante Law whose object is the future, the systemic evils of corruption, money laundering, discrimination, climate change and hatred are combated, thus finding substantial unity. The Positive Monumental Goals aim to engender sustainability, security, respect for human beings, etc. in systems, be they banking, financial, digital, climatic, etc.

The role of the Judge, and therefore also that of the Arbitrator, is renewed.

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